Ascent Capital Reports Slight Bump in Revenue in Q4, Full Year; Monitronics Nears 1.1M Subscribers

Ascent Captial revenue increased 4.2% in the fourth quarter and 4.4% for the full year.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Ascent Capital Group, released its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2015 and full year on Monday, reporting a net revenue increase of 4.2% to $141.6 million for the fourth quarter. For the full year, net revenue rose 4.4% to $563.4 million.

Ascent is the holding company of Dallas-based Monitronics Int’l. Monitronics’ subscriber accounts increased 2.9% in 2015 to 1,089,535. Its unit attrition increased to 13.6% for the year compared to 12.9% in 2014, with its core account portfolio unit attrition down to 12.7% from 12.8% a year ago.

“The business performed in line with expectations in the fourth quarter and full year 2015,” Ascent Chairman and CEO Bill Fitzgerald said in a statement. “I am very pleased with the progress [Monitronics President and CEO Jeffrey Gardner] has made with the business in his short time with us, implementing operational changes at both Monitronics and LiveWatch while building his leadership team. I’m optimistic about the effect these changes will have on the business in 2016.”

The press release states Monitronics’ long-term monitoring contracts provide high-margin recurring revenue that results in predictable and stable cash flow.

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“The strong underlying fundamentals of the Monitronics business remain intact, but we are also aware that there are certain initiatives that must be undertaken so that we are in a better position to achieve strong returns for shareholders,” Gardner stated.

“As such, we have identified areas where we can strengthen our operating performance, improve our free cash flow profile and manage our balance sheet. These include cost cutting measures, building our lead generation opportunities through partnerships like the recently announced agreement with Consolidated Telephone and implementing more effective marketing practices,” he continued. “We are also taking proactive steps to better manage our attrition, including deploying technology in our call centers that helps to more accurately identify the attributes of customers most likely to churn, ensuring that we are in front of these customers faster and more efficiently.

“With our renewed focus on strong free cash flow generation, I am confident that we have the right programs in place to meaningfully improve creation costs and reduce operating costs over time. I believe that these efforts will serve to build an even stronger Monitronics and ultimately drive long term shareholder value.”

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