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Leading Lights 2017 Finalists: Company of the Year (Public)

Ray Le Maistre

It's been a tough year for many listed companies in the communications networking and services sectors but a number of traded firms have seen their fortunes improve and stock rise.

Three companies – Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), Boingo Wireless Inc. and GTT Communications Inc. -- made the Company of the Year (Public) shortlist in this year's Leading Lights awards -- find out more about them below.

The winner will be announced at the Leading Lights Awards dinner on Monday, May 15, at Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas. On the following day, the Big Communications Event opens its doors for two days of learning, networking and fun.

To find out which companies were shortlisted across all of this year's Leading Lights categories, please check out this story. (See Leading Lights 2017: The Finalists.)

You're invited to attend Light Reading's Big Communications Event -- the ONE event that delivers context and clarity to the software-driven future. There's still time to register and communications service providers get in free.

So let's take a look at our finalists.

Amdocs is a communications industry powerhouse, constantly expanding and finding new ways to bolster its formidable business.

In its fiscal year to the end of September 2016, the company grew its revenues by 2% to about $3.7 billion and reported net income of more than $409 million and followed that with fiscal first quarter revenues of almost $955 million (for the three months to the end of December 2016), up 3.6% year-on-year.

The company's share price gained 6.5% during the course of the 'Leading Lights year' (March 2016 to March 2017), closing on March 1 2017 at $61.33.

Amdocs has secured itself as a key player in the NFV management and orchestration (MANO) market thanks to its development role in AT&T's ECOMP platform and bolstered its portfolio, customer base and top line with acquisitions, most notably the trio of deals announced in September 2016 -- Vindicia, Brite:Bill and Pontis for a combined $260 million.

That move was also the catalyst for the launch by Amdocs earlier this year of its artificial intelligence-based platform, aia.

Amdocs is expecting further sales growth during the current financial year and it would be a foolish move to bet against its ongoing success.

Boingo Wireless
Boingo has been making hay during the past year as it capitalizes on its new strategy and experience in wireless access service provisioning.

Its Venue Acquisition model, whereby the company acquires long-term wireless rights at large-scale venues such as airports, stadiums, universities and military bases, builds wireless access networks using the most appropriate technology (DAS, WiFi, small cells) and then monetizes the network (carrier fees, advertising) has proved a success, helping to fuel year-on-year revenue growth in 2016 of 14% to nearly $160 million, the company's third year in a row of double-digit revenue growth. That's forecast to become four consecutive years in 2017.

Boingo's share price has also been on the rise, achieving nearly 63% growth during the course of the 'Leading Lights year' (March 2016 to March 2017), closing on March 1 2017 at $11.51.

GTT Communications
International data network operator GTT Communications notes in its Leading Lights submission that one of its "core business objectives is to provide customers with private and secure connectivity to the business-critical services and applications they require."

That focus appears to be paying off. In 2016 it grew its annual revenues by more than 41% to nearly $522 million, while its adjusted EBITDA was up by more than 62% to $125 million. For the first quarter of 2017, it reported revenues of $182.4 million, up by 46.6%. Those first quarter revenues were boosted by the acquisition of Hibernia Networks, a deal that closed in January of this year and which added significant network assets, customers and revenues to GTT.

Investors like GTT's trajectory. During the course of the 'Leading Lights year' (March 2016 to March 2017), the company's share price leaped by a staggering 80% to close on March 1 2017 at $28.20.

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, International Group Editor, Light Reading

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