Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Revenue versus Debt

Wow! Reading this article, I was thrown back by this: "The bear case on Level 3 is that, despite all of its growth and surging broadband demand, the company still has nearly $7.3 billion in long-term debt. The question becomes, quite simply, can the company generate enough cash flow from $4 billion in revenue to keep servicing its debt?" $7B in debt on $4B in revenue.

  • The Big 5 MSOs (Cablevision, Cox, Comcast, TW, Charter) have a combined $100B in debt - and need to spend another $100B on DOCSIS 3.0 upgardes.
  • Cellular companies have almost that much debt from 2G and 2.5G build-outs. And 3G, WiMax, EVDO and video build outs will cost them billions more.
  • Qwest has "reduce our net debt by over $12 billion from its peak in 2002, to $13.4 billion at year end." [2006] On revenues of $13.9B in 2006.

Debt. Debt. Debt. Somehow our communications infrastructure doesn't look that rosy. I mean, one more 9-11 or Katrina could tip it over.

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