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Hawaiian Telcom boosts TV subscribers but earnings fall

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 2:10 p.m. HST, Mar 13, 2014

Hawaiian Telcom added the most television subscribers in any quarter since its July 2011 rollout but saw its net income plunge 97.3 percent during the October-December period primarily due to a one-time tax benefit that propped up earnings a year ago. 

The state's largest telephone company said it added nearly 2,600 TV subscribers during the fourth quarter to end the year with 18,400 in its battle to wrest away viewership from Oceanic Time Warner Cable. HawTel said that about half of the households on Oahu now are capable of receive Hawaiian Telcom TV.

HawTel's earnings last quarter fell to $2.6 million, or 23 cents a share, from $98.6 million, or $9.21 a share, in the year-earlier period. Included in the fourth-quarter 2012 results was a one-time, noncash tax benefit of $94.1 million. After adjusting for the benefit, HawTel earned $4.5 million, or 42 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2012. 

Excluding the tax benefit, HawTel attributed the net income decline to $2.6 million from $4.5 million primarily due to a $2.5 million one-time settlement gain in the fourth quarter of 2012 associated with the acquisition of Honolulu-based telecommunications provider Wavecom Solutions.

Revenue rose 4.1 percent during the quarter to $100.5 million from $96.6 million. 

For the year, HawTel's net income plunged 90.5 percent to $10.5 million, or 95 cents a share, from $110 million , or $10.32 a share. Revenue edged up 1.5 percent to $391.2 million from $385.5 million.

After adjusting for the one-time tax benefit, HawTel earned $11.5 million, or $1.08 a share, in 2012.

HawTel's stock declined 32 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $28.70 Thursday after the results were announced prior to the market opening. 

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