Telecom firm Alltel reported a 51% gain in third-quarter net, along with a 14% rise in revenue, this morning. Third-quarter profit totaled $282.6 million, or 81 cents per share, an increase from the year-ago results of $187.2 million, or 48 cents per share. Per-share earnings from continuing operations climbed to 80 cents from 43 cents in the year-ago quarter.
Meanwhile, revenue climbed from $2.01 billion last year to $2.28 billion. Revenue from wireless service gained 15% to $2.1 billion. Alltel also reported that shareholders will receive $71.50 per share in cash after the pending merger with TPG Capital and Goldman Sachs closes, which should be sometime before the end of the year.
Alltel shares are hovering around breakeven as we head into midday. The stock has risen steadily along support from its 10-month and 20-month moving averages since late 2003. AT has spent the entire month of October sandwiched between the 70 and 71 levels. Option traders were leaning bearish ahead of the report; the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio of 0.88 ranks higher than 75% of other such readings taken in the past year.