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Intelsat Announces First Quarter 2020 Results

June 04, 2020

Intelsat S.A. announced financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Intelsat reported total revenue of $458.8 million and net loss attributable to Intelsat S.A. of $218.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Intelsat reported EBITDA1, or earnings before net interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization, of $263.3 million and Adjusted EBITDA1 of $294.0 million, or 64 percent of revenue, for the three months ended March 31, 2020.

Intelsat’s Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Spengler, said, “Like many companies, we were not immune to the effects of COVID-19, which created challenges for our underlying business. Our first quarter results reflect the decline in sea and air travel which negatively impacted our network services business. The media business also experienced disruptions primarily related to the decline in “occasional use” services for sporting events and concerts which were cancelled to comply with the broad stay-at-home orders issued during the period. We were pleased with the resilience of the government services business which delivered stable results in a challenging environment while generating renewals and new business contracts.”

Spengler concluded, “Last week we announced our decision to opt into the FCC Accelerated C-band Clearing Plan. We are already working closely with our customers and vendors to ensure we achieve the agreed upon milestones. Intelsat is committed to helping the U.S. maintain its leadership in developing advanced telecommunications technologies. Our role in clearing the C-band will help create a winning formula for America in the race to deploy 5G networks.”

First Quarter 2020 Business Highlights

Intelsat provides critical communications infrastructure to customers in the network services, media and government sectors. Our customers use our services for broadband connectivity to deliver fixed and mobile telecommunications, enterprise, video distribution and government applications.

Network Services

Network services revenue was $149.4 million (or 33 percent of Intelsat’s total revenue) for the three months ended March 31, 2020, a decrease of 27 percent compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. The decline in network services revenue was related to non-renewals and renewals at lower pricing coupled with two unusual items, including a one-time recognition of accelerated revenue in the first quarter of 2019 and lower revenue in the current quarter when compared with the same period last year due to the loss of Intelsat 29e (“IS-29e”) in April 2019.

Media

Media revenue was $205.8 million (or 45 percent of Intelsat’s total revenue) for the three months ended March 31, 2020, a decrease of 9 percent compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019.

Government

Government revenue was $95.8 million (or 21 percent of Intelsat’s total revenue) for the three months ended March 31, 2020, an increase of 3 percent compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019.

Average Fill Rate

Intelsat’s average fill rate at March 31, 2020 on our approximately 1,676 36 MHz station-kept wide-beam transponders was 78.5 percent, as compared to an average fill rate at December 31, 2019 of 78 percent on 1,800 transponders. In addition, at March 31, 2020 our fleet included approximately 1,218 36 MHz equivalent transponders of high-throughput Intelsat Epic capacity as compared to 1,200 high-throughput transponders at December 31, 2019.

Contracted Backlog

At March 31, 2020, Intelsat’s contracted backlog, representing expected future revenue under existing contracts with customers, was $6.6 billion, as compared to $7.0 billion at December 31, 2019.

C-band Proceeding at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission ("FCC")

On March 3, 2020, the FCC issued its final order in the C-band proceeding. The order determined that acceleration incentive payments totaling $9.7 billion would be made to certain C-band satellite operators, subject to the achievement of certain milestones, of which Intelsat would receive $4.87 billion, payable in two tranches. The order also outlined a cost reimbursement framework that would apply to the various stakeholders in the proceeding, as well as technical specifications and other elements. To participate in the accelerated clearing process and qualify to receive the incentive payments, C-band satellite operators were required to file a written commitment to opt in by the May 29th deadline.

Last week, in advance of the FCC’s filing deadline, Intelsat announced its decision to opt into the FCC Accelerated C-band Clearing Plan while also filing a Petition for Reconsideration requesting limited technical changes to the order. There is no assurance that the FCC will accept any of our proposed changes to the order.

Financial Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2020

Total revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2020 decreased by $69.6 million to $458.8 million, or 13 percent, as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. By service type, our revenues increased or decreased due to the following:

Total On-Network Revenues decreased by $67.2 million, or 14 percent, to $404.0 million as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019 due to the following:

Transponder services reported an aggregate decrease of $46.0 million, driven by non-renewals and renewals at lower capacity in both our media and network services business, in addition to loss of revenue from IS-29e.

Managed services reported an aggregate decrease of $20.9 million, primarily due to a decline in mobility solutions resulting from termination of a network services contract and loss of revenue from IS-29e.

Total Off-Network and Other Revenues decreased by $2.5 million, or 4 percent, to $54.8 million, as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019 due to the following:

Transponder, mobile satellite services (“MSS”) and other Off-Network services revenues decreased by an aggregate amount of $6.2 million to $43.7 million, primarily related to the accounting treatment of a sales-type lease which increased revenue in the year ago period with no comparable revenue in the current period, and offset by the loss of IS-29e which resulted in restoration of services with off-network operators.

Satellite-related services reported an increase of $3.7 million, to $11.1 million, primarily due to increased revenues from services that support third-party satellites.

Direct costs of revenue (excluding depreciation and amortization) decreased by $0.3 million, to $105.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. The decrease was primarily due to normal fluctuations in staff-related and operational expenses.

Selling, general and administrative expenses increased by $29.3 million, or 57 percent, to $81.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019. The increase was primarily due to a $19.5 million increase in bad debt expense, largely as a result of a customer that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Depreciation and amortization expense decreased by $8.0 million, or 5 percent, to $163.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, as compared to the three months ended March 31, 2019, primarily due to the write-off of IS-29e in April 2019.

Impairment of Non-Amortizable Intangible Assets increased by $12.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020 relating to the Intelsat trade name intangible asset. No comparable amounts were recognized for the three months ended March 31, 2019.

Interest expense, net consists of the gross interest expense we incur, together with gains and losses on interest rate cap contracts we hold (which reflect the change in their fair value), offset by interest income earned and the amount of interest we capitalize related to assets under construction. As of March 31, 2020, we held interest rate cap contracts with an aggregate notional amount of $2.4 billion to mitigate the risk of interest rate increases on the floating-rate term loans under our senior secured credit facilities. The interest rate caps have not been designated as hedges for accounting purposes.

Interest expense, net increased by $1.7 million, or 1 percent, to $318.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, as compared to $316.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. The increase was principally due to the following:

an increase of $7.3 million primarily resulting from our financing activities in 2019; and

an increase of $4.6 million from lower capitalized interest primarily resulting from decreased levels of satellites and related assets under construction; partially offset by

a decrease of $8.3 million corresponding to the decrease in fair value of the interest rate cap contracts.

The non-cash portion of total interest expense, net was $39.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, primarily consisting of interest expense related to the significant financing component identified in customer contracts, amortization of deferred financing fees, amortization and accretion of discounts and premiums and the loss resulting from the decrease in fair value of the interest rate cap contracts we hold.

Other income, net was $2.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, as compared to other income, net of $1.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. Other income, net for the three months ended March 31, 2020 primarily resulted from a $6.0 million gain on sale of assets, partially offset by foreign currency loss of $4.3 million largely related to our business conducted in Brazilian reals.

Provision for income taxes was $0.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, as compared to $5.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019. The decrease was principally attributable to the relaxed limitations on the deductibility of interest and use of net operating losses (NOLs) related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) enacted on March 27, 2020.

Cash paid for income taxes, net of refunds, totaled $1.9 million and $1.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Net Income, Net Income per Diluted Common Share attributable to Intelsat S.A., EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

Net loss attributable to Intelsat S.A. was $218.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, compared to a net loss of $120.6 million for the same period in 2019.

Net loss per diluted common share attributable to Intelsat S.A. was $1.55 for the three months ended March 31, 2020, compared to net loss of $0.87 per diluted common share for the same period in 2019.

EBITDA was $263.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, compared to $372.8 million for the same period in 2019, reflecting lower revenue and higher operating costs, as described above.

Adjusted EBITDA was $294.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, or 64 percent of revenue, compared to $380.3 million, or 72 percent of revenue, for the same period in 2019, reflecting lower revenue and higher operating costs, as described above.

Free Cash Flow Used In Operations1

Net cash provided by operating activities was $14.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020. Free cash flow used in operations was $18.1 million for the same period. Free cash flow from (used in) operations is defined as net cash provided by operating activities and other proceeds from satellites from investing activities, less payments for satellites and other property and equipment (including capitalized interest). Payments for satellites and other property and equipment from investing activities, net during the three months ended March 31, 2020 were $38.0 million, and other proceeds from satellites were $5.6 million.

 

 

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