Vonage Nailed By Debt Restructuring, Lower Sales

VoIP provider Vonage Holdings Corp. is restructuring its debt, a move contributed to its lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings.

Sales of the companys over-the-top VoIP service fell from $222 million a year ago to $214 million, as losses totaled $55 million, on par with losses from a year earlier. On Wednesday, Vonage said the net losses include a $60 million charge for the refinancing. The company is replacing $194 million in term debt with a term loan facility that features an interest rate less than half of the rate on the current obligations. In all, Vonage hopes to raise about $200 million in new debt.

Meantime, the New Jersey-based firm saw its telephony costs rise due to higher demand for its Vonage World international calling program. Those expenses rose from $52 million in 2009s third quarter to $60.3 million. Vonage said those charges will continue to grow in the fourth quarter as more subscribers sign up for Vonage World.

To help offset some of those costs, Vonage continued to ratchet down its marketing spending. The company which once upon a time notoriously spent more than $200 to acquire one new customer shelled out $49.3 million for marketing, compared to $57.4 million a year ago.

Shares of Vonage had dropped 5.65 percent to $2.34 by about 2 p.m. Eastern. The companys 52-week low stands at $1.13.

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