Why Liberty LiLAC's Shares Popped Today

By Travis Hoium Markets Fool.com

What happened

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Shares of the Liberty LiLAC family of companies surged double digits after reporting earnings for the fourth quarter. Shares of Liberty LiLAC (NASDAQ: LILA) jumped as much as 16.4%, and Liberty LiLAC Group (NASDAQ: LILAK) rose as much as 16.9%. At 3:20 p.m. EST, shares of the stocks were both up 16%.

So what

Revenue at Liberty LiLAC rose 1.8%, to $923 million, exceeding the $898.9 million Wall Street analysts were expecting. Operating cash flow also nearly tripled, to $476.5 million for the quarter and $1.08 billion for 2016, helped by the acquisition of CWC in May 2016.

Image source: Getty Images.

For 2017, management expects operating cash flow to be $1.5 billion. Further integration of CWC is expected to result in more steady earnings for the year.

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Now what

This is a case of investors having set very low expectations for Liberty LiLAC, and the company exceeding them this past quarter. But keep in mind that Liberty LiLAC actually lost 200 subscribers in the quarter, and the voice and video platforms are bleeding customers right now. So results may have beaten expectations, but there's a lot of work ahead to begin growing the company organically in a significant way.

Keep an eye out for continued progress on an operational front because expectations may not be so easy to beat next quarter.

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Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Liberty LiLAC Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.