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Dobson’s net loss increases, revenues higher

OKLAHOMA CITY-Dobson Communications Corp. reported 30,150 total net wireless customer additions for the second quarter of this year, which was down slightly from the 38,350 the carrier reported for the same quarter last year. Customer churn decreased from 1.8 percent last year to 1.7 percent this year, while average revenue per user remained steady at $43.

Total revenue for the second quarter increased from $153.3 million last year to $159.9 million this year despite the fact roaming revenue dropped from $64.6 million to $60.9 million. Dobson attributed the decrease in roaming revenue to the lower initial rate in its recently signed 10-year roaming agreement with Cingular Wireless L.L.C.

Net losses applicable to common shareholders increased from $53.4 million last year, or 56 cents per share, to $132.1 million this year, a loss of $1.46 per share.

Dobson attributed a portion of the loss to the write down of its investment in its American Cellular joint venture with AT&T Wireless Services Inc., which Dobson said did not meet its total debt leverage ratio covenant for the second quarter contained in its bank credit facility. Because it did not meet this covenant, American Cellular’s banks have the right to accelerate repayment of the approximately $915.6 million in outstanding balance of its credit facility, which Dobson said was not non-recourse to its own operations.

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