Frontier Communications? You Might Prefer the Preferred Stock

June 25, 2015

Long-time readers will know that rural telecom companies have been a particular favorite of mine. Although these companies’ core residential landline business is in decline as mobile phones become the primary phone line among an ever-increasing proportion of the U.S. population, rural telephone companies can respond by lowering capital expenditures accordingly and refocusing their offerings […]


Alaska Communications – Junk Bonds of the Last Frontier

August 21, 2014

UPDATE: Since this article was written, Alaska Communications sold its remaining wireless assets to GCI and used the money to pay off a great deal of its bank debt, which made these bonds much safer and moved the price to 100. So, buying these bonds when the article was written would have worked out nicely, […]


Windstream to overpay for PAETEC

August 23, 2011

I have been indisposed recently, but I will be ready to resume m usual schedule of posting in the near future. But before then I have some old news that needs addressing, and that is Windstream’s planned merger with PAETEC. Whenever there is a merger announced, at least one and usually more than one plaintiff’s […]


Consolidated Communications (CNSL) – Strong dividends and excellent cash flow

April 18, 2011

I have often found compelling values in rural telephone companies, such as Windstream and Qwest (now acquired by CenturyLink, as they throw off large amounts of free cash flows and are kind enough to produce dividends. My latest discovery in this area is Consolidated Communications (CNSL), which pays 8.4% and which has a free cash […]


Windstream releases useful merger financial statements, is still cheap

January 19, 2011

As my loyal readers will know, I have been following Windstream (WIN), a phone company focusing on rural areas, for some time. Over the last couple of years, it has made a number of acquisitions in order to facilitate its strategy of expanding high speed internet and business services in order to offset losses of […]


Windstream – To sell or not to sell

December 12, 2010

Some people think the reason for value investing’s unpopularity is that it’s pretty boring. No excited conversations with analysts, no being wined and dined by management, no building of gleaming, elegant, projections going years into the future; just you and your calculated value to compare to market prices. However, this approach led me to buy […]


Why I sold Qwest

November 10, 2010

As you may have noticed, the stock market has been doing very well over the last few months, and even my staid old telecoms have been caught in the updraft despite (or perhaps because of) the high dividend payouts. As the entire market now seems to be looking for yields now that cash and most […]


Look for the right short candidates (like Crown Castle)

October 26, 2010

I was involved in a conversation recently about short selling, where the old adage was trotted out that a stock can rise to infinity but only drop to zero, which is said to illustrate that short selling is more risky than investing on the long side. Although this is technically true, its impact on the […]


SBA Communications – Too much Debt, not enough Growth

October 3, 2010

I have been interested in short ideas lately, and the last two I identified, Red Hat Inc. and Concur Technologies, were demonstrably overpriced and already showing signs of running out of growth. However, there was no catalyst lurking in the wings that had the potential to throw a wrench into the market’s optimism. However, with […]


Is depreciation or depletion really free cash flow

June 7, 2010

It has been observed by me, and possibly other people, that free cash flow, more than earnings, is a correct measure of an equity investor’s true returns (free cash flow is earnings plus depreciation minus capital expenditures). The logic behind this goes back to Benjamin Graham’s notion of calculating true earnings; he said that before […]