Iridium Communications raised its 2021 full-year financial projections after reporting 9% service revenue growth and an 18% year-over-year increase in total billable subscribers during its 2021 third fiscal quarter (Q3). The Mclean, Virginia-based satellite constellation operator said in its Q3 report that it now expects its total service revenue growth to fall between 5% and 6% instead of its original 3% growth forecast.
Iridium said its success in the third quarter was largely driven by demand for commercial Internet of Things (IoT) services. Its commercial IoT data subscribers jumped 25% from Q3 2020 period to 1,156,000 customers. Overall, the company ends Q3 2021 with 18% more total billable subscribers than it had at the end of the same quarter last year, reaching a total of 1,690,000 customers.
“We feel really good about the momentum we’re seeing in our business,” said Iridium CEO Matt Desch. “It’s broad-based and a function of strong top line growth, good execution and strong partner activity. Together, these factors provide Iridium a clear runway for long-term growth. With the flood of new capital making its way into the space industry, Iridium continues to distinguish itself as a leader in satellite communications by leveraging its unique network and spectrum position to connect people, vehicles, and assets on the move. We continue to generate stronger free cash flow as we attract new subscribers to our network, which sets us up well as we plan for 2022.”
The company’s Q3 2021 total revenue jumped 7% year-over-year to $162.2 million, beating analysts’ consensus forecast of $153.71 million. Iridium also topped a company operational EBITDA record in Q3 2021, reaching $100.2 million — a 7% increase compared to $93.4 million for the prior-year period. Desch said he expects Iridium’s operational EBITDA to reach $375 million by the end of this year. The operator narrowed its net losses from $4 million in Q3 2020 to $2.1 million Q3 2021 due to cuts in operational costs.
Iridium’s government service revenues increased from $25.1 million in Q3 2020 to $25.9 million in Q3 2021, which the company attributed to the step-up of the seven-year, $738.5 million fixed-price Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services contract it signed with the U.S. Air Force Space Command in September 2019.
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