LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Alltel today announced that the company achieved double-digit growth in revenues and net income during the fourth quarter and for all of 2005, driven by its wireless business. Fully diluted earnings per share under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) was 66 cents for the quarter, including several one-time items such as integration and hurricane-related expenses. Fully diluted earnings per share under GAAP was $3.87 for the year. Fully diluted earnings per share from current businesses was 77 cents for the quarter, which includes a weighted average share count of 389 million, and $3.41 for the year.
"This was a busy year strategically for our company and I am very proud of the entire team for all that we accomplished," said Scott Ford, Alltel president and chief executive officer. "We delivered a strong increase in wireless net customer additions and gains in average revenue per customer for the fourth quarter, capping a year where Alltel accelerated wireless growth by expanding our customer base and creating the nation's largest wireless network. This year we also launched a new brand with proof points that are resonating with our wireless customers."
In 2005, Alltel completed transactions with Western Wireless, Cingular, PSC Wireless and U.S. Cellular. That expansion added parts of nine new states to the Alltel network: California, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. The transactions also significantly expanded Alltel's wireless operations in several other states, including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
With those transactions, Alltel's wireless customer base increased to more than 10 million for the first time - a 24 percent year-over-year increase - and the company now serves a population of nearly 76 million, a 22 percent increase from 2004. Alltel is the nation's fifth-largest wireless carrier. In addition, Alltel is the largest independent roaming partner for the nation's top four wireless carriers.
Alltel closed the year by announcing it would spin off its wireline business and merge it with VALOR Communications Group Inc. in a $9.1 billion transaction. "In 2006, we will create two companies - separate wireless and wireline businesses - that will be positioned to capitalize on strategic, operational and financial opportunities," Ford said.
Among the financial highlights for the fourth quarter:
In the fourth quarter, Alltel agreed to purchase Midwest Wireless, which is expected to add about 400,000 wireless customers in southern Minnesota, northern and eastern Iowa, and western Wisconsin. The company also completed or announced transactions that will allow it to meet all divestiture requirements related to the merger with Western Wireless.
"Alltel delivered fourth-quarter and annual results that were driven by solid performances in both our wireless and wireline businesses," Ford said. "We continue to improve our wireless customer growth and again delivered year-over-year increases in ARPU while the wireline business continued to grow our broadband customer base."
Among the financial highlights for the year:
Alltel is a customer-focused communications company with more than 15 million customers in 36 states and nearly $10 billion in annual revenues.