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Abovenet Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)

May 10, 2010 | About:

Abovenet Inc. (ABVT) filed Quarterly Report for the period ended 2010-03-31.

Abovenet Inc. has a market cap of $1.23 billion; its shares were traded at around $49.01 with a P/E ratio of 14.83 and P/S ratio of 3.41.

Highlight of Business Operations:

Contract termination revenue is recognized when a customer discontinues service prior to the end of the contract period for which we had previously received consideration and for which revenue recognition was deferred. Contract termination revenue is also recognized when customers have made early termination payments to us to settle contractually committed purchase amounts that the customer no longer expects to meet or when we renegotiate or discontinue a contract with a customer and as a result are no longer obligated to provide services for consideration previously received and for which revenue recognition has been deferred. During the three months ended March 31, 2010 and 2009, we included the receipts of bankruptcy claim settlements from former customers as contract termination revenue. Contract termination revenue is reported together with other service revenue, and amounted to $1.0 million and $1.9 million in the three months ended March 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

Property and equipment owned at the Effective Date are stated at their estimated fair values as of the Effective Date based on our reorganization value, net of accumulated depreciation and amortization incurred since the Effective Date. Purchases of property and equipment subsequent to the Effective Date are stated at cost, net of depreciation and amortization. Major improvements are capitalized, while expenditures for repairs and maintenance are expensed when incurred. Costs incurred prior to a capital project s completion are reflected as construction in progress and are part of network infrastructure assets, as described below and included in property and equipment on the respective balance sheets. At March 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009, we had $32.9 million and $26.9 million, respectively, of construction in progress. Certain internal direct labor costs of constructing or installing property and equipment are capitalized. Capitalized direct labor is determined based upon a core group of field engineers and IP engineers and reflects their capitalized salary plus related benefits, and is based upon an allocation of their time between capitalized and non-capitalized projects. These individuals salaries are considered to be costs directly associated with the construction of certain infrastructure and customer installations. The salaries and related benefits of non-engineers and supporting staff that are part of the engineering departments are not considered part of the pool subject to capitalization. Capitalized direct labor amounted to $3.0 million and $2.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Depreciation and amortization is provided on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets, with the exception of leasehold improvements, which are amortized over the lesser of the estimated useful lives or the term of the lease.

From time to time, we are required to replace or re-route existing fiber due to structural changes such as construction and highway expansions, which is defined as “relocation.” In such instances, we fully depreciate the remaining carrying value of network infrastructure removed or rendered unusable and capitalize the new fiber and associated construction costs of the relocation placed into service, which is reduced by any reimbursements received for such costs. We capitalized relocation costs amounting to $0.2 million and $0.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. We fully depreciated the remaining carrying value of the network infrastructure rendered unusable, which on an original cost basis, totaled $0.02 million and $0.10 million ($0.01 million and $0.07 million on a net book value basis) for each of the three months ended March 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively. To the extent that relocation requires only the movement of existing network infrastructure to another location, the related costs are included in our results of operations.

Asset retirement obligations are generally recorded as “other long-term liabilities,” are capitalized as part of the carrying amount of the related long-lived assets included in property and equipment, net, and are depreciated over the life of the associated asset. Asset retirement obligations aggregated $7.2 million each at March 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009, respectively, of which $3.8 million was included in “Accrued expenses,” and $3.4 million was included in “Other long-term liabilities” at such dates. Accretion expense, which is included in “Interest expense,” amounted to $0.07 million and $0.08 million for the three months ended March 31, 2010 and 2009, respectively.

We utilize derivative financial instruments known as interest rate swaps (“derivatives”) to mitigate our exposure to interest rate risk. We purchased the first interest rate swap on August 4, 2008 to hedge the interest rate on the $24.0 million (original principal) portion of the Term Loan and we purchased a second interest rate swap on November 14, 2008 to hedge the interest rate on the additional $12.0 million (original principal) portion of the Term Loan provided by SunTrust Bank. See Note 4, “Note Payable,” to the accompanying consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. We accounted for the derivatives under SFAS No. 133, “Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities,” (now known as FASB ASC 815). FASB ASC 815 requires that all derivatives be recognized in the financial statements and measured at fair value regardless of the purpose or intent for holding them. By policy, we have not historically entered into derivatives for trading purposes or for speculation. Based on criteria defined in FASB ASC 815, the interest rate swaps were considered cash flow hedges and were 100% effective. Accordingly, changes in the fair value of derivatives are, and will be, recorded each period in accumulated other comprehensive loss. Changes in the fair value of the derivatives reported in accumulated other comprehensive loss will be reclassified into earnings in the period in which earnings are impacted by the variability of the cash flows of the hedged item. The ineffective portion of all hedges, if any, is recognized in current period earnings. The unrealized net loss recorded in accumulated other comprehensive loss at each of March 31, 2010 and December 31, 2009 was $1.2 million for the interest rate swaps. The mark-to-market value of the cash flow hedges will be recorded in other non-current assets or other long-term liabilities, as applicable, and the offsetting gains or losses in accumulated other comprehensive loss.

As part of our evaluation of deferred tax assets in the fourth quarter of 2009, we recognized a tax benefit of $183.0 million at December 31, 2009 relating to the reduction of certain valuation allowances previously established in the U.S. and the U.K. We believe it is more likely than not that we will utilize these deferred tax assets to reduce or eliminate tax payments in future periods. This reduction in valuation allowance had the effect of increasing net income by $183.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2009. Our evaluation encompassed (i) a review of our recent history of profitability in the U.S. and the U.K. for the past three years; and (ii) a review of internal financial forecasts demonstrating our expected capacity to utilize deferred tax assets.

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