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Iridium Reports Fourth Quarter 2020, Issues Full Year 2021 Guidance; Matt Desch Quoted

4 mins read
Matt Desch
Matt Desch CEO Iridium

Iridium Communications has reported its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2020 and issued its full-year 2021 guidance, the company announced on Thursday. The company reported fourth-quarter total revenue of $146.5 million, which consisted of $116.9 million of service revenue and $29.6 million of revenue related to equipment sales and engineering and support projects. 

Total revenue increased five percent versus the comparable period of 2019, while service revenue grew three percent from the prior year. from the year-ago period. Service revenue was 80 percent of total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020.

"I am incredibly proud of the results Iridium delivered this year in the face of an unprecedented business environment. The resilience of our wholesale business model and double-digit subscriber growth in 2020 are testaments to the strength of our global partner network and the growing demand for Iridium's safety services and mobility platform," said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium and 2021 Wash100 Award recipient. 

Iridium noted that its net loss for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $7.9 million, as compared to net loss of $107.9 million in the same quarter of 2019. The company’s net loss improvement was primarily due to debt extinguishment costs associated with Iridium's refinancing in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

The company’s Operational EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $84.8 million, as compared to $80.1 million for the prior-year period, representing a year-over-year increase of 6 percent.  OEBITDA primarily benefited from increased commercial service revenue and engineering and support work for the government.

The Company ended the quarter with nearly 1.5 million total billable subscribers, which compares to 1.3 million for the year-ago period and is up from 1.4 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2020. Total billable subscribers grew 14 percent year-over-year, driven by growth in commercial IoT and government business.

For the full year, Iridium reported net loss of $56.1 million, compared to net loss of $162.0 million for 2019. Iridium reported record total revenue in 2020 of $583.4 million, which was up four percent from the year-ago period. 

The company’s total revenue included $463.1 million of service revenue and $120.3 million of revenue related to equipment sales and engineering and support projects. OEBITDA for 2020 was $355.6 million, a seven percent increase from $331.7 million in the prior year, representing an OEBITDA margin of 61 percent. Capital expenditures were $38.7 million for the full-year 2020.

Iridium has issued its full-year 2021 outlook and reiterated, projecting revenue growth of approximately three percent full-year 2021. Additionally, Iridium expects full-year 2021 OEBITDA to be between $365 million and $375 million. 

Commenting on Iridium's share repurchase authorization and capital priorities, Desch said, "In light of Iridium's strengthening capital position and continued opportunities for growth, I am happy to announce that our Board of Directors approved the first share repurchase program in the Company's history.”

“This program authorizes the repurchase of up to $300.0 million of Iridium common stock through December 31, 2022, and demonstrates Iridium's commitment to long-term value creation through returns of capital to shareholders," Desch added. 

Desch received his 2021 Wash100 Award for stewarding the company through the launch of its broadband service upgrade, satellite cloud-based offering for internet of things and maritime emergency response system. 

Executive Mosaic congratulates Matt Desch and the Iridium team for their selection to the 2021 Wash100 Award. To vote for Desch, or your favorite executive of this year’s Wash100 Award selection, visit Wash100.com to cast your TEN votes, learn more about the history of the award and read more about the latest class of winners from 2021.

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