Iridium Announces First Quarter 2023 Results
Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) ("Iridium") today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2023 and reiterated its full-year 2023 outlook. Net income was $9.8 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2023, as compared to net income of $2.8 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2022. Operational EBITDA ("OEBITDA")(1) for the first quarter was $111.9 million, as compared to $103.2 million for the prior-year period, representing a year-over-year increase of 8%. These results benefitted from growth in all business areas.
Iridium reported first-quarter total revenue of $205.3 million, which consisted of $139.3 million of service revenue and $66.0 million of revenue related to equipment sales and engineering and support projects. Total revenue increased 22% versus the comparable period of 2022, while service revenue grew 10% from the year-ago period. Service revenue, which represents primarily recurring revenue from Iridium's growing subscriber base, was 68% of total revenue for the first quarter of 2023.
The Company ended the quarter with 2,051,000 total billable subscribers, which compares to 1,781,000 for the year-ago period and is up from 1,999,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2022. Total billable subscribers grew 15% year-over-year, driven by growth in commercial IoT.
"2023 is off to a strong start, as we continued to enjoy double-digit sales growth in our Commercial Business and saw another record quarter of equipment sales," said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. Desch added, "We continue to see strong demand for equipment from our partner community and believe that new product and service rollouts this year will drive strong subscriber growth and service revenue gains."
Commenting on Iridium's cash flow and liquidity, Desch said, "Our strong balance sheet and another quarter of robust cash flow continue to support ongoing business investment and the return of capital to Iridium's shareholders. In the first quarter, Iridium paid its inaugural dividend to common shareholders and repurchased more than $53 million of common stock. Together, these activities are expected to return approximately $245 million of capital to Iridium's shareholders in 2023."
Iridium Business Highlights
Service – Commercial
Commercial service remained the largest part of Iridium's business, representing 55% of the Company's total revenue during the first 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 $112.8 million, up 13% from last year's comparable period due to broad-based growth across all revenue lines.
Commercial voice and data: Revenue was $52.4 million, up 17% from the year-ago period. Subscribers grew 4% from the year-ago period to 395,000. Average revenue per user ("ARPU") was $44 during the first quarter, compared to $40 in the prior-year period, on higher access fees.
Commercial IoT data: Revenue was $32.0 million, up 12% from the year-ago period. Subscribers grew 21% from the year-ago period to 1,501,000 customers, driven by continued growth in consumer personal communications devices. ARPU was $7.22 in the first quarter, compared to $7.78 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 $13.4 million, up 17% from $11.5 million in the year-ago period on increasing activations of Iridium Certus® broadband service. ARPU was $294 during the first quarter, compared to $288 in last year's comparable period, reflecting an increasing mix of broadband subscribers using Iridium Certus.