Iridium: strong growth of the machine-to-machine (M2M) data services

Iridium triples Q2 profits, revenues jump over 14%

Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) (“Iridium”) has just reported strong financial results for the second quarter of 2011 and affirmed its outlook for the full-year 2011.
Net income was $11.7 million for the second quarter of 2011, as compared to $3.2 million for the second quarter of 2010.

Operational EBITDA for the second quarter was $48.4 million, as compared to $36.1 million for the prior-year period, representing year-over-year growth of 34 percent and an OEBITDA margin of 50 percent. OEBITDA for the first half of 2011 was $91.5 million, as compared to $69.6 million for the prior-year six-month period, representing year-over-year growth of 32 percent. OEBITDA benefited from solid growth in commercial service, government service and equipment revenue.

Iridium reported second-quarter total revenue of $95.9 million, which consisted of $65.1 million of service revenue and $30.8 million of equipment, engineering and support revenue. Total revenue grew 14 percent versus the comparable period of 2010, while service revenue increased 10 percent from the year-ago period. Service revenue, which represents primarily recurring revenue from Iridium’s growing subscriber base, was 68 percent of total revenue for the second quarter of 2011.

The Company ended the quarter with 478,000 total billable subscribers, which compares to 383,000 for the year-ago period and 447,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. Total billable subscribers grew 25 percent year-over-year, driven by strength in machine-to-machine (“M2M”) data, handheld voice, Netted Iridium and Iridium OpenPort® customers.

Capital expenditures were $114.6 million for the second quarter and primarily related to spending for the Company’s next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT, and upgraded ground network infrastructure at its commercial gateway. The Company ended the second quarter with a cash and cash equivalents balance of $103.8 million and gross debt of $265.3 million. Net debt was $147.9 million.

We once again achieved double-digit subscriber, service revenue and OEBITDA growth in the second quarter, building on a long track record of execution,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium.

We also continue to strengthen our revenue profile in key areas, as approximately 40 percent of our total service revenue now comes from data products and services. Showcasing our strength in the data market, we grew commercial M2M data revenue over 18 percent in the second quarter.

Desch continued:
Connectivity is one of the single biggest driving forces in our daily lives. Our vision, with the world’s furthest reaching network, is to connect people, assets and organizations all over the world in the ways they expect to be connected. We’ll continue to shape the global communications landscape along with our ecosystem of partners, bringing personal tracking devices and smartphone connections to market in support of this vision and our proven strategy of growing highly profitable service revenue. In addition to our own upcoming handset innovations, we’re also seeing rapid adoption of two-way data devices by many of our partners.

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