Why Cincinnati Bell's Shares Popped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Ohio-based telecom provider Cincinnati Bell (NYS: CBB) were dialing up gains today, rising as much as 12% in intraday trading after the company announced first-quarter results.

So what: On the whole, there really wasn't that much that was exciting about Cincinnati Bell's first quarter. Revenue crept up slightly from $361 million a year ago to $363 million, but that was short of the $367 million that Wall Street was expecting. On the bottom line, earnings per share fell from a year ago, from $0.08 to $0.05. That tally also missed analysts' estimates, which were looking for $0.06 in per-share earnings.

Now what: So far, it may seem a bit confounding that shares are up today. However, the company provided full-year revenue and EBITDA guidance that was slightly better than what analysts had been anticipating. Additionally, the company announced that it's pursuing an IPO for its data-center business -- a faster-growing segment that saw a 21% year-over-year revenue increase in the first quarter. Management is looking at this spinoff as a way to maximize shareholder value while helping pay down debt at the telecom business and provide headroom for the datacenter business to continue to grow.

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