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tw telecom inc. (TWTC)

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tw telecom inc. (TWTC)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

November 08, 2011 11:00 am ET

Executives

Carole Curtin - VP, IR

Larissa Herda - Chairman, CEO and President

John Blount - COO

Mark Peters - EVP & CFO

Analysts

David Coleman - RBC Capital Markets

Simon Flannery - Morgan Stanley

Barry McCarver - Stephens

Frank Louthan - Raymond James

Michael Rollins - Citi Investment Research

David Dixon - FBR Capital Markets

Colby Synesael - Cowen & Co.

Donna Jaegers - D.A. Davidson

Michael Funk - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Tim Horan - Oppenheimer

Presentation

Operator

Good morning, and welcome to tw telecom 's third quarter 2011 conference call. Today's call is being recorded. With us from the company are Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Ms. Larissa Herda; Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Mark Peters and Chief Operating Officer Mr. John Blount. At this time, I will turn the call over to Carole Curtin, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Carole Curtin

Welcome to tw telecom's conference call. We're pleased to have you join us today. To review our results for the quarter, please visit our website at www.twtelecom.com where you can find our press release, supplemental quarterly information and SEC filings.

Before we start, I'd like to draw your attention to our Safe Harbor statements included in our supplemental materials which you can find on our website. Information in our quarterly earnings materials and discussion today contain statements about future expected events and financial results that are forward-looking and are subject to risks and uncertainties. A discussion of factors that may cause our results to differ materially from our expectations is contained in our filings with the SEC under Risk Factors and elsewhere available on our website. I’d also want to point out that our earnings materials and discussion today contain certain non-GAAP financial measures. You can find reconciliations between the non-GAAP and GAAP financial measures in the materials on our website.

Now I'm pleased to introduce tw telecom's Chairman, CEO and President, Larissa Herda.

Larissa Herda

Thanks, Carole. Hi, everyone, and thank you for joining us. We delivered another quarter of strong comprehensive results including expansion of our revenue growth rate of solid EBITDA margin and healthy bottom line, ongoing free cash flow production and plenty of cash flow on the balance sheet, cash on the balance sheet available for the right strategic choices.

We are performing well both financially and operationally as we continue to invest in growth opportunities and rollout new services. Let me provide some visibility into the several indicators of ongoing momentum in the business.

Let start’s with revenue growth which continued its strong trend as we delivered just over 7% year-over-year revenue growth for the first nine months as compared to 5% growth for the same period last year which is an impressive expansion. Enterprise customers and our data and internet services continue to be our growth engine, while carrier customers provide ongoing opportunities but also contributed to some lumpiness in revenue this quarter.

Additionally, our sales funnel reflected strong ongoing market opportunities primarily driven by our data and internet growth engine including the new products we launched last year.

Moving to our booking. We had continued success with closing customer deals driven by our direct and indirect sales channels. Our bookings demonstrated ongoing strength as each quarter this year reflected growth in sales over the same quarter last year. Another positive sign is our growth in buildings connected to our fiber network as we continue to expand to more and more customer locations. In fact, we’ve already added as many buildings for the first nine months of this year as we did for all of 2010 reflecting customer wins to build into new locations as well as additional cell site locations.

Turning to customer buying sentiments, our sales leadership remains positive regarding ongoing opportunities as we continue to win sales based on our product innovation and customer service. We’re closing these deals because of our innovative and cost saving solutions as well as the fact that enterprises are under pressure to serve growing bandwidth needs. So despite the volatile marketplace, we’re finding good opportunities and customers continue to buy because the network is integral to their success.

So summing it all up, we delivered another strong quarter, driven by a consistent steady growth engine which is fueled by our new product solutions that continue to resonate with enterprises, ongoing new customer opportunities and further penetration and development of our markets. I'm now going to hand the call over to John Blount, our Chief Operating officer who can share a bit more on how we are raising the bar on our telecom services and enabling our future growth. John?

John Blount

Thanks Larissa. 2011 has been a great year for us. I would like to spend a moment on what our customers are telling us, why we are winning today and how we expect to win in the future. Let’s start with what customers are telling us. Enterprises are looking for telecom providers to raise the bar to deliver the critical services they need faster, better and easier. So why faster, better and easier?

Here’s some of the complex challenges customers are faced with today including escalating bandwidth needs, the velocity and growth in network applications, the adoption of cloud and collaboration coupled with challenge of addressing security for mission-critical applications and pressure to achieve greater productivity through automation.

As a result customers have to do more, do it better and do it faster and at the same time manage costs and maintain reliability. Now that’s a sizeable requirement and it’s why these demands have added a great deal of complexity for enterprises and as a result continue to bring the importance of the network to center stage.

So let’s talk about why we are winning today and how we are positioned for the future. We are growing today because we’ve raised the bar on service and innovation as we continue to work toward faster, better and easier solutions for our customers. We are able to do this because of our network capabilities, our service model and our products. For instance unique products like our fractional 10 gig Ethernet let customers buy just the amount of Ethernet they need for each location rather than inefficiently buying more services than they require.

Additionally our finely tuned local sales strategy, in execution along with tools like our customer portal help us to deliver industry-leading service. We are in the enviable position of having an integrated network which is allowing us to help our customers leapfrog ahead to new capabilities. So let me give you some context to what that network platform means to our customers and what they say they are encountering with other national carriers.

Without an integrated platform like ours, customers’ applications are forced to function on the carrier’s disparate networks with complex architectures. As a result here are some of the impacts to the customer including varying service delivery and maintenance levels across the country, differing processes that are not standardized for all locations, complex bills that come from multiple systems, reactive network management and different people to deal with on service issues depending on the location, all of which result in inefficient use of the customers’ time and resources and that's just to name a few issues.

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