Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ:FTR) is assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey on broadband and wireless networks across Houston, with a view of carrying out repairs as soon as possible. The wireless company is among a number of companies that are feeling the effects of the storm, which has reportedly destroyed over 280,000 cable and wire line telecom hook ups.
According to the Federal Communication Commission, as many as 190,000 cables and wire line customers could be out of service. Frontier Communications serves about 200,000 access lines in the South Texas area which is one of the most affected areas.
The company’s operations and maintenance teams have already started to gain access to some of the affected areas.
“Frontier will continue to add repair teams and is committed to safely restoring communications to affected customers and to supporting recovery efforts in the communities it serves,” Frontier in a statement.
Frontier Communications entered the Texas wireless market as part of a $10.5 billion acquisition of wire line operations formerly operated by Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ). AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is another wireless company with sizeable presence in Houston. The company has invested about $1.5 Billion over the past three years to boost its wireless network. The nation second largest carrier says it will waive fees for all wireless customers in storm ravaged areas through September 3.
Separately, research analysts at Morgan Stanley have trimmed their price target on Frontier Communications to $16 a share. The analysts currently rate the stock as an ‘equal weight’. The move to trim the price target does not come as a surprise, as the stock has spiraled down for the better part of the year and is currently down by more than 60% for the year.
The spiral is already fuelling speculation on the Street that Frontier Communications could be an acquisition target for well-funded telecommunications companies given its discounted price. However, any interested party will have to contend with the company’s massive debt as well as interest expense and operational problems.
Frontier Communications was up by 0.52% in Thursday’s trading session to end the day at $13.47 a share.