Altice Boosts NJ Footprint With Service Electric Deal Closure

Altice USA, Inc. ATUS has strengthened its regional footprint with the completion of the $150-million buyout deal with Service Electric Cable T.V. of New Jersey, Inc., inked in February this year. The acquisition will enable the company to expand its differentiated broadband, video, mobile and advertising services to a wider population, thereby fueling its growth engine.

Covering almost the entire length and breadth of the county, Service Electric Cable offered cable, telephone and Internet services to about 30,000 local customers. With coveted assets that boast attractive broadband growth opportunities, the transaction provides Altice a much-needed boost to cement its regional presence.

Notably, the company has been rolling out enhanced data and services for its business customers across the country. Altice Business, which was formed by clubbing its Lightpath, Optimum and Suddenlink business brands under a single umbrella, offers the best-in-class data, voice, video and managed services to about 2 million customers. As part of this effort, Altice Business has standardized its product portfolio footprint-wide, providing customers with access to services that meet their needs, regardless of size or region, and creating more value and choice.

Moving forward, the company aims to leverage the Altice One Operating System (OS) 2.0, a version 2 upgrade to its Altice One entertainment and connectivity platform. The Altice One OS 2.0 boasts enhanced features, giving customers access to the cloud DVR from the Altice One mobile app, the YouTube Kids app, more 4K content as well as live show restart on more than 20 additional networks. It also allows customers to use voice search on YouTube. As an all-in-one entertainment system, Altice One is available to Optimum and Suddenlink cable customers. The upgrade offers additional 4K content, including English Premier League soccer, and enables users to restart live shows on channels like A&E, History Channel, Lifetime, Viceland, Fox News and Fox Sports 1, among others. Notably, the company offers these features only to Optimum customers.

Altice is also on track with its five-year plan to build an FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) network and deploy its new home communications hub. The company believes that the FTTH network will be more resilient with reduced maintenance requirements, fewer service outages and lower power usage, which is likely to lead to further cost efficiencies. This network will allow Altice to satisfy the demand for increasing speeds and support evolving technologies, such as the expected transition of mobile networks to 5G, and enable it to capitalize on associated revenue-growth opportunities. Additionally, the company is building a next-generation fiber network capable of delivering broadband speeds of 10 Gbps, reflecting Altice’s continued investment in technology and innovation for its customers in the United States.

The stock has lost 7.3% over the past year compared with the industry’s decline of 15.9%.

Nevertheless, we remain impressed with the inherent growth potential of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Some better-ranked stocks in the broader industry are Juniper Networks, Inc. JNPR, Nokia Corporation NOK and Cogent Communications Holdings, Inc. CCOI, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Juniper has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8%.

Nokia has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 15.6%. It delivered an earnings surprise of 129.1%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Cogent has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 10.6%. It delivered an earnings surprise of 12.3%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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