Rising Demand Lifts Uniti Income 8.3% in Q2

Rising Demand Lifts Uniti Income 8.3% in Q2
Kenny Gunderman (Uniti Group)

Uniti Group Inc. of Little Rock (Nasdaq: UNIT) on Thursday reported rising profit as demand for its fiber broadband infrastructure accelerated.

The real estate investment trust reported net income of $53.8 million, up 8.3% from $46.6 million in the same period in 2021. On a per-share basis, the company posted earnings of 21 cents, an increase of 5% from a year ago. Uniti's board also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share on July 29, payable on Sept. 23, 2022, to stockholders of record on Sept. 9.

Revenue for the quarter was $284 million, beating Wall Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $276.8 million.

Funds from operations, a key measure of profitability in the REIT industry, increased 11% in the period to $114.9 million, or 44 cents per share.

CEO Kenny Gunderman said in the company in the second quarter saw its highest level of gross install activity since 2017. He also said this is its fifth consecutive quarter of increased new sales bookings, and that Uniti owns the second largest independent fiber network in the country at a total of 133,000 miles. 

"With the tailwinds in our industry and the relatively untapped capacity in our network, we remain confident that we will be able to attain sustainable and profitable growth for many years," he said in a news release.

The CEO also said the company has leases that are expected to generate $7 billion over an average remaining term of 8.5 years, plus no significant debt maturities before mid-2024.

Uniti recently agreed to pay $39 million to settle claims that it misled investors by not disclosing risks related to a $310 million judgment against Windstream in 2019. A federal court hearing in Little Rock is scheduled for Nov. 4, at which the settlement could be finalized.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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