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Roseville's SureWest sees its first quarter loss balloon on sale costs

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ROSEVILLE (AP) - SureWest Communications said Wednesday its first-quarter loss widened on costs related to the pending acquisition of the company and the reduction of a state subsidy.

The Roseville-based phone company, which also provides TV and high-speed Internet service, posted a loss of $3.9 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.6 million, or 12 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue rose 3.6 percent to $62.8 million from $60.6 million, as broadband revenue increased 10 percent to $50 million, while telecom revenue dropped 16 percent to $12.8 million.

SureWest attributed the larger loss to $3.3 million in transaction costs related to the company's deal to sell itself to Consolidated Communications and a sequential $510,000 reduction in a now phased out California subsidy.

Consolidated said in February that it would buy SureWest in a cash and stock deal worth about $340.9 million. SureWest said it expects the deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, to either close at the end of the current quarter, or in the third quarter.

Shareholders will vote on the sale at a special meeting on June 12.

SureWest shares rose 3 cents to $22.60 in afternoon trading Wednesday. Its shares are trading near the high end of their 52-week range of $9.12 to $22.81.