U.S. Cellular Reports Fourth Quarter 2011 Results and 2012 Financial Guidance

Strong smartphone sales drive higher revenues

Feb 24, 2012, 08:29 ET from United States Cellular Corporation

CHICAGO, Feb. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Note: Comparisons are year over year unless otherwise noted.

Fourth Quarter Highlights

  • Smartphones increased to 52.5 percent of total devices sold from 39.6 percent; smartphone customers increased to 30.5 percent of postpaid customers from 16.7 percent.
  • Postpaid ARPU (average revenue per unit) increased 5 percent to $53.35 from $50.99.
  • Service revenues increased 4 percent to $1,030.0 million.
  • Operating income increased $20.4 million to $16.3 million.
  • Net loss of 13,000 retail customers, reflecting loss of 20,000 postpaid customers and a gain of 7,000 prepaid customers; postpaid customers comprised 95 percent of retail customers.
  • Cell sites in service increased 3 percent to 7,882.

As previously announced, U.S. Cellular will hold a teleconference Feb. 24, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST.  Listen to the live call via the Conference Calls page of www.teldta.com or www.uscellular.com.

United States Cellular Corporation (NYSE: USM) reported service revenues of $1,030.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, versus $991.9 million for the comparable period one year ago. Net income attributable to U.S. Cellular shareholders and related diluted earnings per share were $2.8 million and $0.03, respectively, for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $7.8 million and $0.09, respectively, for the comparable period in 2010.  

The fourth quarter of 2011 was impacted by a $6.1 million adjustment that increased tax expense related to prior periods.  In the fourth quarter of 2010, income tax expense was reduced by favorable settlements of certain state income tax audits.

For the twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2011, U.S. Cellular reported service revenues of $4,053.8 million, compared to $3,913.0 million in 2010.  Net income attributable to U.S. Cellular shareholders for 2011 and related diluted earnings per share were $175.0 million and $2.05, respectively.  In 2010, net income attributable to U.S. Cellular shareholders and related diluted earnings per share were $136.1 million and $1.57, respectively.

"In a competitive environment, U.S. Cellular was able to increase revenues and improve operating income," said Mary N. Dillon, U.S. Cellular president and CEO. "However, we fell short on customer growth, so improving our customer performance is our highest priority in 2012."

"We nearly doubled the number of smartphone customers throughout the year, with the strongest increase in the fourth quarter. More than 30 percent of our postpaid customers now have smartphones, and smartphones were more than half of our total devices sold in the fourth quarter. As a result, we saw dramatic increases in data usage and revenues which, along with growth in inbound roaming revenues, helped us increase average total service revenue per customer by six percent for the year. And while we had an overall customer loss in 2011, we had a solid holiday sales season in terms of net retail customer additions. We also kept churn stable for the year, even as we faced significant competitive pressures, and were able to better control costs by balancing promotions and smartphone subsidies.

"We're bringing even more outstanding experiences to our customers this year, rolling out 4G LTE service and devices to more than half of our subscribers by year end. And we'll introduce more devices throughout the year, to provide a wide range of options to meet all of our customers' needs.

"As I mentioned, our top priority is to achieve positive customer additions in 2012. We're focused on attracting new customers through building awareness, increasing our focus on small-to-medium business customers, and looking to expand our points of distribution. We're also committed to cost-effectively managing the network demands caused by the explosive growth in data use, and improving our profitability through several operational initiatives."

Guidance for year ending Dec. 31, 2012

This guidance represents the views of management as of Feb. 24, 2012, and should not be assumed to be current as of any other date.  There can be no assurance that final results will not differ materially from this guidance.  U.S. Cellular undertakes no legal duty to update such information, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

2012 

2011 

Estimated Results (1)

Actual Results

Service revenues

$4,050 - $4,150 million

$4,053.8 million

Operating income

$200 - $300 million

$280.8 million

Depreciation, amortization and accretion expenses, and net gain or loss

  on asset disposals and exchanges and loss on impairment of assets (2)

Approx. $600 million

$571.7 million

Adjusted OIBDA (3)

$800 - $900 million

$852.5 million

Capital expenditures

Approx. $850 million

$782.5 million

(1)

These estimates are based on U.S. Cellular's current plans, which include a multi-year deployment of 4G LTE technology which commenced in 2011. New developments or changing conditions (such as customer net growth, customer demand for data services or possible acquisitions, dispositions, or exchanges) could affect U.S. Cellular's plans and, therefore, its 2012 estimated results.

(2)

2011 Actual Results include gains on asset disposals and exchanges, net of $1.9 million. The 2012 Estimated Results include only Depreciation, amortization and accretion expenses; such estimated results do not include net gains or losses on disposals and exchanges of assets or losses on impairment of assets (since such transactions and their effects cannot be predicted).

(3)

Adjusted OIBDA is defined as operating income excluding the effects of Depreciation, amortization and accretion (OIBDA): the net gain or loss on asset disposals and exchanges (if any); and the loss on impairment of assets (if any). This measure also may be commonly referred to by management as operating cash flow. This measure should not be confused with cash flows from operating activities, which is a component of the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows. Adjusted OIBDA excludes the net gain or loss on asset disposals and exchanges (if any) and loss on impairment of assets (if any), in order to show operating results on a more comparable basis from period to period.  TDS does not intend to imply that any of such amounts that are excluded are non-recurring, infrequent or unusual and, accordingly, they may be incurred in the future.  TDS believes this measure provides useful information to investors regarding TDS' financial condition and results of operations because it highlights certain key cash and non-cash items and their impacts on cash flows from operating activities.

Conference call information

U.S. Cellular will hold a conference call on Feb. 24, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. CST.

Before the call, certain financial and statistical information to be discussed during the call will be posted to the Conference Calls page of uscellular.com. The call will be archived on the Conference Calls page of uscellular.com

About U.S. Cellular®

United States Cellular Corporation, the nation's seventh-largest wireless carrier, provides a comprehensive range of wireless products and services, excellent customer support, and a high-quality network to 5.9 million customers in 26 states. The Chicago-based company had 8,700 full- and part-time associates as of Dec. 31, 2011. For more information about U.S. Cellular, visit uscellular.com.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: All information set forth in this news release, except historical and factual information, represents forward-looking statements. This includes all statements about the company's plans, beliefs, estimates and expectations. These statements are based on current estimates, projections and assumptions, which involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that may affect these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: The ability of the company to successfully grow its markets; changes in the overall economy, competition, the state and federal telecommunications regulatory environment, and the value of assets and investments; adverse changes in the ratings afforded the company's debt securities by accredited ratings organizations; industry consolidation; advances in telecommunications technology; uncertainty of access to the capital markets; risks and uncertainties relating to possible future restatements; pending and future litigation; changes in income tax rates, laws, regulations or rulings; acquisitions/divestitures of properties and/or licenses; and changes in customer growth rates, average monthly revenue per unit, churn rates, roaming revenue and terms, the availability of handset devices and the mix of products and services offered by the company. Investors are encouraged to consider these and other risks and uncertainties that are discussed in the Form 8-K used by U.S. Cellular to furnish this press release to the SEC, which are incorporated by reference herein.

For more information about U.S. Cellular, visit uscellular.com.

UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION

SUMMARY OPERATING DATA (UNAUDITED)

Quarter Ended

12/31/2011

9/30/2011

6/30/2011

3/31/2011

12/31/2010

Total population

Consolidated markets (1)

91,965,000

91,965,000

91,204,000

91,090,000

90,468,000

Consolidated operating markets (1)

46,888,000

46,888,000

46,888,000

46,774,000

46,546,000

Market penetration at end of period

Consolidated markets (2)

6.4%

6.5%

6.5%

6.6%

6.7%

Consolidated operating markets (2)

12.6%

12.7%

12.7%

12.9%

13.0%

All customers

Total at end of period

5,891,000

5,932,000

5,968,000

6,033,000

6,072,000

Gross additions

306,000

299,000

257,000

293,000

327,000

Net additions (losses)

(41,000)

(36,000)

(70,000)

(39,000)

(31,000)

Smartphones sold as a percent of

     total devices sold (3)

52.5%

39.9%

39.6%

42.5%

39.6%

Retail customers

Total at end of period

5,608,000

5,621,000

5,644,000

5,698,000

5,729,000

Smartphone penetration (3) (4)

30.5%

26.2%

23.1%

20.3%

16.7%

Gross additions

298,000

284,000

226,000

256,000

292,000

Net retail additions (losses) (5)

(13,000)

(23,000)

(58,000)

(31,000)

(21,000)

     Net postpaid additions (losses)

(20,000)

(34,000)

(41,000)

(22,000)

(10,000)

     Net prepaid additions (losses)

7,000

11,000

(17,000)

(9,000)

(11,000)

Service revenue components (000s)

Retail service

$

882,091

$

871,199

$

868,630

$

864,602

$

864,905

Inbound roaming

93,353

107,810

82,760

64,386

67,545

Other

54,601

57,600

50,640

56,125

59,464

Total service revenues (000s)

$

1,030,045

$

1,036,609

$

1,002,030

$

985,113

$

991,914

Total ARPU (6)

58.13

$

58.09

$

55.69

$

54.29

$

54.37

Billed ARPU (7)

49.78

$

48.82

$

48.27

$

47.65

$

47.41

Postpaid ARPU (8)

$

53.35

$

52.41

$

51.84

$

51.21

$

50.99

Postpaid churn rate (9)

1.6%

1.5%

1.4%

1.4%

1.5%

Capital expenditures (000s)

$

276,400

$

248,000

$

162,100

$

95,900

$

203,400

Cell sites in service

7,882

7,828

7,770

7,663

7,645

(1)

Used only to calculate market penetration of consolidated markets and consolidated operating markets, respectively. See footnote (2) below.

(2)

Market Penetration is calculated by dividing the number of wireless customers at the end of the period by the total population of consolidated markets and consolidated operating markets, respectively, as estimated by Claritas®.

(3)

Smartphones represent wireless devices which run on an Android™, BlackBerry®, or Windows Mobile® operating system, excluding tablets.

(4)

Smartphone penetration is calculated by dividing postpaid smartphone customers by total postpaid customers.

(5)

Includes net postpaid additions (losses) and net prepaid additions (losses).

(6)

Total ARPU - Average monthly service revenue per customer includes retail service, inbound roaming and other service revenues and is calculated by dividing total service revenues by the number of months in the period and by the average total customers during the period.

(7)

Billed ARPU - Average monthly billed revenue per customer is calculated by dividing total retail service revenues by the number of months in the period and by the average total customers during the period. Retail service revenues include revenues attributable to postpaid, prepaid and reseller customers.

(8)

Postpaid ARPU - Average monthly revenue per postpaid customer is calculated by dividing total retail service revenues from postpaid customers by the number of months in the period and by the average postpaid customers during the period.

(9)

Represents the percentage of the postpaid customer base that disconnects service each month. This amount represents the average postpaid churn rate for each respective quarterly period.

UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS HIGHLIGHTS

Three Months Ended December 31,

(Unaudited, dollars and shares in thousands, except per share amounts)

Increase (Decrease)

2011 

2010 

Amount

Percent

Operating revenues

Service

$

1,030,045

$

991,914

$

38,131

4%

Equipment sales

69,588

71,236

(1,648)

(2%)

Total operating revenues

1,099,633

1,063,150

36,483

3%

Operating expenses

System operations (excluding Depreciation, amortization

and accretion reported below)

242,123

216,254

25,869

12%

Cost of equipment sold

225,835

230,620

(4,785)

(2%)

Selling, general and administrative (1)(2)

469,515

474,904

(5,389)

(1%)

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

141,976

143,124

(1,148)

(1%)

Loss on asset disposals, net

3,868

2,310

1,558

67%

Total operating expenses

1,083,317

1,067,212

16,105

2%

Operating income (loss)

16,316

(4,062)

20,378

>100

Investment and other income (expense)

Equity in earnings of unconsolidated entities

18,277

22,900

(4,623)

(20%)

Interest and dividend income

929

824

105

13%

Loss on investment

(2,000)

(2,000)

N/M

Interest expense (1)

(13,709)

(12,637)

(1,072)

(8%)

Other, net

(631)

285

(916)

>100

Total investment and other income (expense)

2,866

11,372

(8,506)

(75%)

Income before income taxes

19,182

7,310

11,872

>100

Income tax expense (benefit) (2)

11,307

(6,698)

18,005

>100

Net income

7,875

14,008

(6,133)

(44%)

Less:  Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests,

net of tax

(5,074)

(6,226)

1,152

19%

Net income attributable to U.S. Cellular shareholders

$

2,801

$

7,782

$

(4,981)

(64%)

Basic weighted average shares outstanding

84,559

85,668

(1,109)

(1%)

Basic earnings per share attributable to

U.S. Cellular shareholders

$

0.03

$

0.09

$

(0.06)

(67%)

Diluted weighted average shares outstanding

85,005

86,190

(1,185)

(1%)

Diluted earnings per share attributable to

U.S. Cellular shareholders

$

0.03

$

0.09

$

(0.06)

(67%)

(1)

During the quarter ended December 31, 2010, U.S. Cellular recorded adjustments to reduce its liability for transactional taxes in the amount of $5.8 million.  Of this amount, $2.7 million and $3.1 million reduced Selling, general and administration expenses and Interest expense, respectively, in the quarter ended December 31, 2010.  These transactional taxes related to periods from 2002 through the first quarter of 2010.  This adjustment reflects a change in U.S. Cellular's estimate of its liability for transactional taxes and interest and the actual amounts due and settled with the taxing authorities of taxes and interest.  

(2)

During the quarter ended December 31, 2011, U.S. Cellular recorded an immaterial adjustment to correct its liabilities and prepaid expense related to property taxes for errors occurring primarily prior to 2009. This adjustment reduced Selling, general and administrative expenses by $5.4 million in the quarter.  U.S. Cellular also recorded an immaterial adjustment to correct its deferred tax balances related to a difference in the tax basis in certain partnerships for errors occurring prior to 2009. This adjustment increased Income tax expense by $6.1 million in the quarter. U.S. Cellular also recorded other immaterial adjustments to correct errors in prior periods which, together with the foregoing adjustments, reduced Net income attributable to U.S. Cellular shareholders by a net of $6.4 million. The correction of such errors in the fourth quarter of 2011 did not have a material effect on any prior periods, the full year ended December 31, 2011, or the trend in earnings.

N/M – Percentage change not meaningful  

UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS HIGHLIGHTS

Twelve Months Ended December 31,

(Unaudited, dollars and shares in thousands, except per share amounts)

     Increase (Decrease)

2011 

2010 

Amount

Percent

Operating revenues

Service

$

4,053,797

$

3,913,001

$

140,796

4%

Equipment sales

289,549

264,680

24,869

9%

Total operating revenues

4,343,346

4,177,681

165,665

4%

Operating expenses

System operations (excluding Depreciation, amortization

9%

and accretion reported below)

929,379

854,931

74,448

Cost of equipment sold

782,300

742,981

39,319

5%

Selling, general and administrative

1,779,203

1,796,624

(17,421)

(1%)

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

573,557

570,955

2,602

(Gain) loss on asset disposals and exchanges, net

(1,873)

10,717

(12,590)

>100

Total operating expenses

4,062,566

3,976,208

86,358

2%

Operating income

280,780

201,473

79,307

39%

Investment and other income (expense)

Equity in earnings of unconsolidated entities

83,566

97,318

(13,752)

(14%)

Interest and dividend income

3,395

3,808

(413)

(11%)

Gain on investment

11,373

11,373

N/M

Interest expense

(65,614)

(61,555)

(4,059)

(7%)

Other, net

(678)

72

(750)

>100

Total investment and other income (expense)

32,042

39,643

(7,601)

(19%)

Income before income taxes

312,822

241,116

71,706

30%

Income tax expense

114,078

81,958

32,120

39%

Net income

198,744

159,158

39,586

25%

Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests,

net of tax

(23,703)

(23,084)

(619)

(3%)

Net income attributable to U.S. Cellular shareholders

$

175,041

$

136,074

$

38,967

29%

Basic weighted average shares outstanding

84,877

86,128

(1,251)

(1%)

Basic earnings per share attributable to

U.S. Cellular shareholders

$

2.06

$

1.58

$

0.48

30%

Diluted weighted average shares outstanding

85,335

86,518

(1,183)

(1%)

Diluted earnings per share attributable to

U.S. Cellular shareholders

$

2.05

$

1.57

$

0.48

31%

N/M – Percentage change not meaningful

UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET HIGHLIGHTS

(Unaudited, dollars in thousands)

ASSETS

December 31,

December 31,

2011 

2010 (1)

Current assets

Cash and cash equivalents

$

424,155

$

276,915

Short-term investments

127,039

146,586

Accounts receivable from customers and other

441,821

424,019

Inventory

127,056

112,279

Income taxes receivable

74,791

41,397

Prepaid expenses

55,980

53,356

Net deferred income tax asset

31,905

26,757

Other current assets

10,096

10,804

1,292,843

1,092,113

Assets held for sale

49,647

Investments

Licenses

1,470,769

1,452,101

Goodwill

494,737

494,737

Customer lists, net

314

759

Investments in unconsolidated entities

138,096

160,847

Notes and interest receivable--long-term

1,921

4,070

Long-term investments

30,057

46,033

2,135,894

2,158,547

Property, plant and equipment

In service and under construction

7,008,449

6,340,537

Less: accumulated depreciation

4,218,147

3,766,015

2,790,302

2,574,522

Other assets and deferred charges

59,290

50,367

Total assets

$

6,327,976

$

5,875,549

(1)

Amounts have been adjusted. See "Revision of Prior Period Amounts" section for additional details.

UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET HIGHLIGHTS

(Unaudited, dollars in thousands)

LIABILITIES AND EQUITY

December 31,

December 31,

2011 

2010 (1)

Current liabilities

Current portion of long-term debt

$

127

$

101

Accounts payable

Affiliated

12,183

10,791

Trade

303,779

264,090

Customer deposits and deferred revenues

181,355

146,428

Accrued taxes

34,095

39,299

Accrued compensation

69,551

65,952

Other current liabilities

121,190

121,823

722,280

648,484

Liabilities held for sale

1,051

Deferred liabilities and credits

Net deferred income tax liability

799,190

583,444

Other deferred liabilities and credits

248,213

234,855

Long-term debt

880,320

867,941

Commitments and contingencies

Noncontrolling interests with redemption features

1,005

855

Equity

U.S. Cellular shareholders' equity

Series A Common and Common Shares, par value $1 per share

88,074

88,074

Additional paid-in capital

1,387,341

1,368,487

Treasury shares

(152,817)

(105,616)

Retained earnings

2,297,363

2,135,507

Total U.S. Cellular shareholders equity

3,619,961

3,486,452

Noncontrolling interests

55,956

53,518

Total equity

3,675,917

3,539,970

Total liabilities and equity

$

6,327,976

$

5,875,549

(1)

Amounts have been adjusted. See "Revision of Prior Period Amounts" section for additional details.

United States Cellular Corporation

Schedule of Cash and Cash Equivalents and Investments

(Unaudited, dollars in thousands)

The following table presents U.S. Cellular's cash and cash equivalents and investments at December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2010.

December 31,

December 31,

2011 

2010 

Cash and cash equivalents (1)

$

424,155

$

276,915

Amounts included in short-term investments (2)(3)

Government-backed securities (4)

127,039

146,336

Certificates of deposit

250

$

127,039

$

146,586

Amounts included in long-term investments (2)(5)

Government-backed securities (4)

$

30,057

$

46,033

(1)

Amounts have been adjusted. See "Revision of Prior Period Amounts" section for additional details.

(2)

Designated as held-to-maturity investments and are recorded at amortized cost on the consolidated balance sheet.

(3)

Maturities are less than twelve months from the respective balance sheet dates.

(4)

Includes U.S. treasuries and corporate notes guaranteed under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program.

(5)

At December 31, 2011, maturities range between 18 and 21 months from the balance sheet date.

UNITED STATES CELLULAR CORPORATION

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

Twelve Months Ended December 31,

(Unaudited, dollars in thousands)

2011 

2010 (1)

Cash flows from operating activities

Net income

$

198,744

$

159,158

Add (deduct) adjustments to reconcile net income

to net cash flows from operating activities

Depreciation, amortization and accretion

573,557

570,955

Bad debts expense

62,157

76,292

Stock-based compensation expense

20,183

18,044

Deferred income taxes, net

203,264

73,727

Equity in earnings of unconsolidated entities

(83,566)

(97,318)

Distributions from unconsolidated entities

91,768

100,359

(Gain) loss on asset disposals and exchanges, net

(1,873)

10,717

Gain on investment

(11,373)

Noncash interest expense

10,040

2,540

Other operating activities

102

(2,483)

Changes in assets and liabilities from operations

Accounts receivable

(82,175)

(75,252)

Inventory

(14,640)

40,277

Accounts payable - trade

28,410

(52,568)

Accounts payable - affiliate

1,392

(3,940)

Customer deposits and deferred revenues

34,927

6,180

Accrued taxes

(39,984)

(70,057)

Accrued interest

225

204

Other assets and liabilities

(3,296)

77,552

987,862

834,387

Cash flows from investing activities

Cash used for additions to property, plant and equipment

(771,798)

(569,323)

Cash received from divestitures

(23,773)

(17,101)

Cash paid for investments

(110,000)

(250,250)

Cash received for investments

145,250

60,330

Other investing activities

718

(953)

(759,603)

(777,297)

Cash flows from financing activities

Repayment of long-term debt

(330,338)

(316)

Issuance of long-term debt

342,000

Common shares reissued for benefit plans, net of tax payments

1,935

509

Common shares repurchased

(62,294)

(52,827)

Payment of debt issuance costs

(11,400)

(2,229)

Distributions to noncontrolling interests

(21,094)

(19,631)

Payments to acquire additional interest in subsidiaries

(8,786)

Other financing activities

172

114

(81,019)

(83,166)

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

147,240

(26,076)

Cash and cash equivalents

Beginning of period

276,915

302,991

End of period

$

424,155

$

276,915

(1)

Amounts have been adjusted. See "Revision of Prior Period Amounts" section for additional details.

United States Cellular Corporation

Financial Measures and Reconciliations

(Unaudited, dollars in thousands)

Three Months Ended December 31,

Twelve Months Ended December 31,

2011 

2010 

2011 

2010 

Service revenues

$

1,030,045

$

991,914

$

4,053,797

$

3,913,001

Operating income (loss)

16,316

(4,062)

280,780

201,473

Add:

Depreciation, amortization and

accretion

141,976

143,124

573,557

570,955

(Gain) loss on asset disposals

3,868

2,310

(1,873)

10,717

Adjusted OIBDA (1)

$

162,160

$

141,372

$

852,464

$

783,145

Adjusted OIBDA margin (2)

15.7%

14.3%

21.0%

20.0%

2011

2010 (4)

2011

2010 (4)

Cash flows from operating activities

$

249,041

$

244,229

$

987,862

$

834,387

Deduct:

Cash used for additions to property,

plant and equipment

309,471

165,719

771,798

569,323

Free cash flow (3)

$

(60,430)

$

78,510

$

216,064

$

265,064

(1)

Adjusted OIBDA is defined as operating income excluding the effects of: depreciation, amortization, and accretion (OIBDA); the net gain or loss on asset disposals and exchanges (if any); and the loss on impairment of assets (if any).  This measure also may be commonly referred to by management as operating cash flow.  This measure should not be confused with cash flows from operating activities, which is a component of the consolidated statement of cash flows. Adjusted OIBDA excludes the net gain or loss on asset disposals and exchanges and loss on impairment of assets, if any, in order to show operating results on a more comparable basis from period to period.  U.S. Cellular does not intend to imply that any of such amounts that are excluded are non-recurring, infrequent or unusual, and accordingly, they may be incurred in the future.

(2)

Adjusted OIBDA margin is defined as adjusted OIBDA divided by service revenues. Equipment revenues are excluded from the denominator of the calculation since equipment is generally sold at a net loss, and such net loss is included in adjusted OIBDA as a cost of earning service revenues for purposes of assessing business results.  U.S. Cellular believes that this calculation method is consistent with the method used by certain investors to assess U.S. Cellular's business results.  Adjusted OIBDA margin may also be commonly referred to by management as operating cash flow margin. U.S. Cellular believes this measure provides useful information to investors regarding U.S. Cellular's financial condition and results of operations because it highlights certain key cash and non-cash items and their impacts on cash flows from operating activities.

(3)

Free cash flow is defined as cash flows from operating activities less Cash used for additions to property, plant and equipment. Free cash flow is a non-GAAP financial measure.  U.S. Cellular believes that free cash flow as reported by U.S. Cellular may be useful to investors and other users of its financial information in evaluating the amount of cash generated by business operations, after consideration of capital expenditures.

(4)

Amounts have been adjusted. See "Revision of Prior Period Amounts" section for additional details.

REVISION OF PRIOR PERIOD AMOUNTS

In preparing its Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows for the year ended December 31, 2011, U.S. Cellular discovered certain errors related to the classification of outstanding checks with the right of offset and related to the classification of Accounts payable for Additions to property, plant and equipment as non-cash investing activities for purposes of preparing the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows.  These errors resulted in the misstatement of Cash and Accounts payable as of December 31, 2010 and each quarterly period in 2011, and the misstatement of Cash flows from operating activities and Cash flows from investing activities for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 and each of the quarterly periods in 2011 and 2010.  In accordance with SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin Nos. 99 and 108 ("SAB 99" and "SAB 108"), U.S. Cellular evaluated these errors and determined that they were immaterial to each of the reporting periods affected and, therefore, amendments of previously filed reports were not required.  However, in order to provide consistency in the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows and as permitted by SAB 108, revisions for these immaterial amounts to previously reported annual amounts are reflected in the financial information herein and will be reflected in future filings containing such financial information as permitted by SAB 108.

In accordance with SAB 108, the Consolidated Balance Sheet and the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows have been revised as follows:

Consolidated Balance Sheet -- December 31, 2010

As previously

(Dollars in thousands)

reported (1)

Adjustment

Revised

Cash and cash equivalents

$

294,426

$

(17,511)

$

276,915

Total current assets

1,109,624

(17,511)

1,092,113

Total assets

5,893,060

(17,511)

5,875,549

Accounts payable

281,601

(17,511)

264,090

Total current liabilities

665,995

(17,511)

648,484

Total liabilities and equity

5,893,060

(17,511)

5,875,549

Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows -- Year Ended December 31, 2010

As previously

(Dollars in thousands)

reported (1)

Adjustment

Revised

Change in Accounts payable - trade

$

(14,660)

$

(37,908)

$

(52,568)

Change in Other assets and liabilities

79,546

(1,994)

77,552

Cash flows from operating activities

874,289

(39,902)

834,387

Cash used for additions to property, plant and equipment

(583,134)

13,811

(569,323)

Cash flows used in investing activities

(791,108)

13,811

(777,297)

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

15

(26,091)

(26,076)

(1)

In Current Report on Form 8-K filed on November 16, 2011.

SOURCE United States Cellular Corporation



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