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Iridium Announces Record Third-Quarter 2022 Results; Increases 2022 Outlook

 Oct. 20, 2022

Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) ("Iridium") today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2022 and updated its full-year 2022 outlook. Net income was $2.1 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2022, as compared to net loss of $2.1 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2021. This change in net income was primarily the result of growth in total revenue, which was broad based. Operational EBITDA ("OEBITDA")(1) for the third quarter was up 8% to a record $107.8 million, as compared to $100.2 million for the prior-year period, representing an OEBITDA margin(1) of 59%.

Iridium reported third-quarter total revenue of $184.1 million, which consisted of $139.0 million of service revenue and $45.1 million of revenue related to equipment sales and engineering and support projects. Total revenue increased 14% from the comparable period of 2021, while service revenue grew 9% from the year-ago period. Service revenue, which represents primarily recurring revenue from Iridium's growing subscriber base, was 76% of total revenue for the third quarter of 2022.

The Company ended the quarter with 1,973,000 total billable subscribers, which compares to 1,690,000 for the year-ago period and is up from 1,875,000 for the quarter ended June 30, 2022. Total billable subscribers grew 17% year-over-year driven primarily by growth in commercial IoT.

"We have continued to see strong momentum across all commercial business lines. Based upon these trends we are increasing our full-year outlook for service revenue growth and OEBITDA, and we expect 2022 will be another record year," said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium.

Commenting on capital deployment, Desch added, "Iridium's growing cash flow continues to provide flexibility to retire shares as we remain bullish about our growth opportunities. Through the third quarter, we have repurchased approximately 11 million shares at a total purchase price of about $413 million."

Iridium Business Highlights 

Service – Commercial

Commercial service remained the largest part of Iridium's business, representing 61% of the Company's total revenue during the third quarter. The Company's commercial customer base is diverse and includes markets such as maritime, aviation, oil and gas, mining, recreation, forestry, construction, transportation and emergency services. These customers rely on Iridium's products and services as critical to their daily operations and integral to their communications and business infrastructure.

Commercial service revenue was $112.5 million, up 10% from last year's comparable period due to an increase in revenue from voice and data services, IoT and broadband.

Commercial voice and data revenue was $50.3 million, up 10% from the year-ago period. Commercial voice and data subscribers were up 8% from the year-ago period to 401,000. Commercial voice and data average revenue per user ("ARPU") increased to $42 during the third quarter, compared to $41 in the prior-year period.

Commercial IoT data revenue was $33.8 million, up 12% from the year-ago period. Commercial IoT data subscribers grew 22% from the year-ago period to 1,412,000 customers, driven by continued strength in consumer personal communications devices. Commercial IoT data ARPU was $8.24 in the third quarter, compared to $8.93 in last year's comparable period. The decrease in ARPU resulted primarily from customer mix, including the effect of the growing proportion of personal communications subscribers who typically utilize lower ARPU plans.

Commercial broadband revenue was $13.6 million, up 19% from $11.5 million in the year-ago period on increasing activations of Iridium Certus® broadband service, which drove an increase in Commercial broadband ARPU to $315 during the third quarter, compared to $299 in last year's comparable period.

Iridium's commercial business ended the quarter with 1,828,000 billable subscribers, which compares to 1,541,000 for the year-ago period and is up from 1,731,000 for the quarter ended June 30, 2022. IoT data subscribers represented 77% of billable commercial subscribers at the end of the quarter, an increase from 75% at the end of the prior-year period.

Hosted payload and other data service revenue was $14.8 million in the third quarter, compared to $14.6 million in the prior-year period.

Service – Government

Iridium's voice and data solutions improve situational awareness for military personnel and track critical assets in tough environments around the globe, providing a unique value proposition that is not easily duplicated.

Under Iridium's Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services contract (the "EMSS Contract"), a seven-year, $738.5 million fixed-price airtime contract with the U.S. Space Force signed in September 2019, Iridium provides specified satellite airtime services, including unlimited global standard and secure voice, paging, fax, Short Burst Data®, Iridium Burst®, RUDICS and Distributed Tactical Communications System services for an unlimited number of Department of Defense and other federal government subscribers. Iridium also provides maintenance and support work for the U.S. government's dedicated Iridium gateway under two other contracts with the U.S. Space Force. Iridium Certus airtime services are not included under these contracts and may be procured separately for an additional fee.

Government service revenue was $26.5 million in the third quarter compared to $25.9 million in the prior-year period, reflecting increased revenue from a contractual step up in the EMSS Contract on September 15, 2021.

Iridium's government business ended the quarter with 145,000 subscribers, which compares to 149,000 for the year-ago period and was up from 144,000 for the quarter ended June 30, 2022. Government voice and data subscribers decreased 5% from the year-ago period to 62,000 as of September 30, 2022. Government IoT data subscribers decreased 1% year-over-year to 83,000 and represented 57% of total government subscribers, compared to 56% at the end of the prior-year period.


Equipment revenue was $28.0 million during the third quarter, compared to $26.9 million in the prior-year's quarter.

In 2022, the Company expects considerably higher equipment sales than in 2021.

Engineering & Support

Engineering and support revenue was $17.1 million during the third quarter, compared to $7.5 million in the prior-year quarter, primarily due to a rise in activity with the U.S. government, including new contract work for the Space Development Agency.

The Company expects Engineering and Support revenue in 2022 and in coming years to be considerably higher than in prior years based on new contract work with the U.S. government.

Capital expenditures were $13.7 million for the third quarter, which includes $0.7 million of capitalized interest. The Company ended the third quarter with gross debt of $1.61 billion and a cash and cash equivalents balance of $218.8 million, for a net debt balance of $1.39 billion.

During the quarter ended September 30, 2022, the Company repurchased approximately 1.8 million shares of its common stock under its previously announced share repurchase program at a total purchase price of $80.2 million. As of September 30, 2022, $187.2 million remained available and authorized for repurchase under this program.

2022 Outlook

The Company updated its full-year 2022 outlook for service revenue growth and OEBITDA and currently anticipates:

Total service revenue growth between 8% and 9% for full-year 2022. Total service revenue for 2021 was $492.0 million (previous outlook was for total service revenue growth between 7% and 9% for full-year 2022).

Full-year 2022 OEBITDA of approximately $420 million. OEBITDA for 2021 was $378.2 million (previous outlook was for full-year 2022 OEBITDA between $410 million and $420 million).

Negligible cash taxes in 2022. Cash taxes are expected to be negligible through approximately 2024.

Net leverage of between 2.5 and 3.5 times OEBITDA at the end of 2023, assuming the completion of the Company's total $600 million in authorized share repurchases. Net leverage was 3.4 times OEBITDA at December 31, 2021.

(1)   Non-GAAP Financial Measures & Definitions

In addition to disclosing financial results that are determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, the Company provides Operational EBITDA and Operational EBITDA margin, which are non-GAAP financial measures, as supplemental measures to help investors evaluate the Company's fundamental operational performance. Operational EBITDA represents earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization, equity income (loss) from investments, net, and share-based compensation expenses. The Company considers the loss on early extinguishment of debt to be financing-related costs associated with interest expense or amortization of financing fees, which by definition are excluded from Operational EBITDA. Such charges are incidental to, but not reflective of, the Company's day-to-day operating performance. The Company also presents Operational EBITDA expressed as a percentage of GAAP revenue, or Operational EBITDA margin. Operational EBITDA, along with its related measure, Operational EBITDA margin does not represent, and should not be considered, an alternative to U.S. GAAP measurements such as net income or loss. In addition, there is no standardized measurement of Operational EBITDA, and the Company's calculations thereof may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies. The Company believes Operational EBITDA is a useful measure across time in evaluating the Company's fundamental core operating performance. Management also uses Operational EBITDA to manage the business, including in preparing its annual operating budget, debt covenant compliance, financial projections and compensation plans. The Company believes that Operational EBITDA is also useful to investors because similar measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in their evaluation of companies in similar industries. As indicated, Operational EBITDA does not include interest expense on borrowed money, the payment of income taxes, amortization of the Company's definite-lived intangible assets, or depreciation expense on the Company's capital assets, which are necessary elements of the Company's operations. Since Operational EBITDA does not account for these and other expenses, its utility as a measure of the Company's operating performance has material limitations. Due to these limitations, the Company's management does not view Operational EBITDA in isolation, but also uses other measurements, such as net income (loss), revenues, operating profit and cash flows from operating activities, to measure operating performance. Please refer to the schedule below for a reconciliation of consolidated GAAP net income (loss) to Operational EBITDA and Iridium's Investor Relations webpage at for a discussion and reconciliation of these and other non-GAAP financial measures. We do not provide a forward-looking reconciliation of expected full-year 2022 Operational EBITDA guidance as the amount and significance of special items required to develop meaningful comparable GAAP financial measures cannot be estimated at this time without unreasonable efforts.





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