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Iridium Adds Subscribers, Maintains 2021 Financial Guidance After Steady Q1

By Jeffrey Hill | April 20, 2021
      Iridium SNOC Next

      Iridium’s Satellite Network Operating Center (SNOC). Photo: Iridium

      Mobile satellite operator Iridium continued its streak of billable subscriber growth in its first fiscal quarter of 2021, ending the period with 1,518,000 total billable subscribers. This represents a 14% year-over-year jump in subscribers, which the company said was driven by a spike in new commercial and government Internet of Things (IoT) customers.

      The results of the quarter allowed Iridium to maintain its financial guidance for the year. The company reduced its quarterly net loss from $31.7 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $5.2 million in the first quarter of 2021, due to the absence of debt extinguishment costs.

      Iridium brought in a total revenue of $146.5 million during the quarter, a 1% increase over the same period last year, consisting of $116.2 million in service revenue (about 79% of total revenue) and $30.3 million of equipment sales and engineering services revenue. First quarter service revenues remained flat.

      Operational EBITDA for the first quarter was $89.8 million in the 2021 first quarter compared to $92.1 million for the prior-year period — a decrease of 2% and an OEBITDA margin of 61%. Iridium also retired 1.6 million shares of common stock during the quarter under its recently authorized share repurchase program.

      “While total revenue increased, it’s hard to compare this quarter’s performance to the pre-pandemic period a year earlier,” Iridium CEO Matt Desch commented on the results. “Subscribers grew at a double-digit pace, led by ongoing demand for consumer-oriented IoT devices, and Iridium’s commercial IoT subscribers eclipsed one million users on our network this quarter … We feel very good about Iridium’s ability to accelerate service revenue growth over the balance of the year based upon the positive feedback and activity we are seeing with our business partners.”