Iridium Communications reported financial results for the first quarter of 2019 and affirmed its full-year 2019 outlook. Net loss was $18 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2019, as compared to net income of $11.5 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2018. According to the release, this decrease in net income was primarily the result of a $34.5 million increase in depreciation and amortization expense compared to the year-ago period. Operational EBITDA for the first quarter was $78 million, as compared to $68.5 million for the prior-year period, representing a year-over-year increase of 14 percent and an OEBITDA margin of 58 percent. OEBITDA primarily benefitted from the recognition of revenue from hosted payload and other data services, telephony pricing actions and growth in the Company’s IoT data business.
Iridium reported first-quarter total revenue of $133.7 million, which consisted of $107 million of service revenue and $26.7 million of revenue related to equipment sales and engineering and support projects. Total revenue increased 12 percent from the comparable period of 2018, while service revenue grew 19 percent from the year-ago period. Service revenue, which represents primarily recurring revenue from Iridium’s growing subscriber base, was 80 percent of total revenue for the first quarter of 2019. The company ended the quarter with approximately 1.5 million total billable subscribers, which compares to 996,000 for the year-ago period and is up from approximately 1.1 million for the quarter ended Dece. 31, 2018. Total billable subscribers grew 16 percent year-over-year, driven by growth in commercial and government Internet of Things (IoT) customers.
“Iridium enjoyed solid revenue and subscriber growth to start 2019, driven predominantly by strength in commercial services. New contributions from hosted payloads and continued momentum in commercial IoT are expected to be a tailwind to our business and support OEBITDA growth for the remainder of the year,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium.