LICT Corporation Reports Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2018 Results and Gary L. Sugarman Rejoins Board of Directors

Fourth Quarter

  • Revenues increased to $28.8 million from $27.5 million.
  • EBITDA grew to $14.5 million from $13.0 million.
  • EPS rose to $269 per share from $210 per share, excluding a deferred tax adjustment of $388 in 2017.

Full Year

  • Revenues climbed to $115.8 million from $106.7 million.
  • EBITDA was $57.9 million versus $49.2 million.
  • EPS rose to $1,262 per share from $666 per share, excluding a deferred tax adjustment of $383 in 2017.

Rye, NY – February 11, 2019 – LICT Corporation (“LICT” or the “Company”; OTC Pink®: LICT) reports preliminary, unaudited, financial results for the year ended December 31, 2018.

FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS – In 2018, LICT’s reported fourth quarter revenues increased $1.4 million to $28.8 million compared to $27.5 million for the corresponding quarter in 2017.  Reported EBITDA was $14.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 as compared to $13.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2017.   

Non-regulated revenues gained 9.9%, to $13.1 million from the prior year’s $11.9 million due to increased broadband and competitive local exchange carrier (“CLEC”) revenues. Regulated revenues increased by 1.2%, to $15.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 from the prior year’s $15.5 million.  Non-regulated EBITDA, including affiliate distributions, rose 27.4% to $6.4 million, from $5.0 million, while regulated EBITDA increased to $8.1 million, from $8.0 million. 

EARNINGS PER SHARE – Diluted earnings per share, excluding charitable contributions, during the fourth quarter were $269 per share in 2018 as compared to $210 per share in 2017.  2017’s diluted earnings per share excluded a $388 deferred tax benefit related to the change in the federal income tax rates.  Shares outstanding at December 31, 2018 were 19,931 versus 20,509 at December 31, 2017.

GARY L. SUGARMAN – We are extremely pleased to report that on February 7, 2019, Mr. Sugarman rejoined our Board. He previously served from September 2006 to 2018.

ALTERNATIVE – CONNECT AMERICA COST MODEL (“A-CAM”) PROGRAM – Effective January 1, 2017, ten of LICT’s rural telephone companies elected to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) A-CAM program. The A-CAM program is designed to increase speed and expand the deployment of broadband capabilities throughout the nation’s rural areas and replaced two prior Universal Service Fund mechanisms for companies electing A-CAM. During 2018, the FCC expanded the A-CAM program retroactive to January 1, 2017. Accordingly, in 2018, LICT recorded additional A-CAM revenues of $5.8 million, of which $2.9 million related to the year ended December 31, 2017.

On December 13, 2018, the FCC announced an additional expansion of the A-CAM program.  While the FCC has not yet provided full details of the expanded program, it is expected that LICT companies, will receive additional funds on an annual basis and their revised funding will be extended two years, to 2028, in exchange for the provision of higher broadband speeds to designated locations. Also, LICT companies in two additional states, who were previously ineligible to participate in the A-CAM program, will be able to voluntarily elect into the Program as of January 1, 2019 for a ten-year period.  Once the FCC provides the full details of this expanded A-CAM program, LICT companies will review their funding and consider all provisions as they are detailed.

FULL YEAR RESULTS – The Company recorded revenues of $115.8 million for 2018 and EBITDA before corporate costs, charitable contributions and non-operating income, of $57.0 million. However, in 2018 the full year results included two significant out of period items: (a) recording of additional A-CAM revenues of $2.9 million which were retroactive to 2017, and (b) a prior year billing adjustment related to our California operations which reduced revenues by $0.4 million.  Adjusting for these items, on-going full year revenues were $113.4 million, and EBITDA was $55.5 million.  The company is forecasting, for 2019, full year revenues around $117 million, and EBITDA approximately at $54 million; these amounts do not include the potential additional A-CAM funding that was discussed above.

SHAREHOLDER DESIGNATED CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION PROGRAM — In 2016, the Company adopted a Shareholder Designated Charitable Contribution Program. Under the Program, all registered shareholders are eligible to designate charities and the company will a make a contribution to that charity. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the company made $100 per share contribution son behalf of its shareholders to their designated charities. In 2018 and 2017, total contributions, under this Program, amounted to $2.5 million and $1.1 million, respectively, and the after-tax earnings per share effect of these contributions was $90 per share in 2018 versus $35 per share in 2017.  The most recent contributions will be distributed in the first quarter of 2019. 

BALANCE SHEET – Our net debt was $3.3 million at December 31, 2018, as compared to $23.9 million on December 31, 2017.

CEO SEARCH – As previously announced, we are reviewing candidates to succeed Mario J. Gabelli as Chief Executive Officer of LICT.  The individual should have knowledge of broadband and, in particular, to serve our rural communities, as well as opportunities to serve colleges, universities, hospitals, and small businesses.  Mr. Gabelli will continue to serve as Executive Chairman upon the completion of the search.

FCC SPECTRUM AUCTIONS – LICT Wireless Broadband Company, LLC (“LICT Wireless”), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, is participating in two ongoing FCC auctions for spectrum, Auction 101 – 28 GHz and Auction 102 – 24 GHz.  These spectrum bands are designated to be used for provision of 5G wireless services.  Auction 101 began on November 14, 2018 and ended on January 28, 2019 and Auction 102 is scheduled to begin on March 14, 2019. Commensurate with previous spectrum auctions, LICT is making upfront deposits to participate in this Auctions.  FCC rules restrict information that bidders may disclose about their participation in these Auctions, including the amount of their upfront payment and any licenses acquired in Auction 101 until Auction 102 is completed.

TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT – On December 22, 2017, the United States Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Act”). Two aspects of this Act significantly impacted LICT: (a) reducing the Federal corporate income tax rate to 21%, from LICT’s 35% 2017 rate, (b) 100% expensing of capital expenditures through 2023.  As previously reported, the change in the Federal tax rate reduced our liability for deferred income taxes at the end of 2017 by $7.1 million and lowered our overall effective tax rate for 2018 to 26.4%, from 39.5% in the of 2017 period.

GROWING THE COMPANY – The Board of Directors and management have implemented measures which have improved liquidity and reduced the Company’s debt position.  At this time, the Board continues to re-evaluate its acquisition activity and related refinancing alternatives.

CAPITAL EXPENDITURES – For 2018, capital expenditures were $22.9 million, of which $12.6 million was for non-regulated activities and $10.3 million for regulated activities. In order to expand the Company’s non-regulated fiber initiatives and provide a high level of broadband to our customers in the rural areas of the United States, our current plan calls for capital expenditures of $22 million in 2019. This capital enables us to offer enhanced broadband speeds and will increase the overall fiber route miles in our network. As of December 31, 2018, LICT operations deployed 4,669 miles of fiber optic cable, 11,832 miles of copper cable, and 701 miles of coaxial cable.

SHARE REPURCHASES – During the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company repurchased 613 shares for $8.3 million, with an average price of $13,574 per share.  In addition, in 2018, 35 shares were issued under the Company’s Restricted Stock Awards program.  As of December 31, 2018, 19,931 shares were outstanding. 

OPERATING STATISTICS – As of December 31, 2018, the Company’s DSL penetration in its franchised telephone service territories, based on its total Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (“ILEC”) voice lines, was 80.3%, as compared to 79.5% at December 31, 2017. Our summary operating statistics are as follows:

  December 31,   Percent
  Increase Increase
  2018 2017 (Decrease) (Decrease)
Broadband lines             33,659 31,521 2,138 6.8%
Voice Lines        
ILEC 26,276 27,195 (919) (3.4%)
CLEC 7,471 7,006 465 6.6% 
  Total 33,747 34,201 (454)  (1.3%)
Video Subscribers 5,669 5,985 (316) (5.3%)
Revenue Generating Units 73,075 71,707 1,368 1.9%
         

This release contains certain forward-looking information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including without limitation anticipated financial results, financing, capital expenditures and corporate transactions.  It should be recognized that such information is based upon certain assumptions, projections and forecasts, including without limitation, business conditions and financial markets, regulatory and other approvals, and the cautionary statements set forth in documents filed by LICT on its website, www.lictcorp.com.  As a result, there can be no assurance that any possible transactions will be accomplished or be successful, or that financial targets will be met.  Such forward-looking information is subject to uncertainties, risks and inaccuracies, which could be material.

LICT Corporation is a holding company with subsidiaries in broadband and other telecommunications services that actively seeks acquisitions, principally in its existing business areas.

LICT Corporation is listed on the OTC Pink® under the symbol LICT.  For further information visit our website at http://www.lictcorp.com.

Contact:         Robert E. Dolan

                        Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

                        914/921-8821

                         Release 19-2

 

 

LICT CORPORATION

       

Exhibit A

Statements of Operations and Selected Balance Sheet Data

 

Page 1 of 2

(In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)

         
           

STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

         
 

 Three Months Ended

 

Twelve Months Ended

 

December 31,

 

December 31,

 

2018

2017

 

2018

2017

       

 

 

Revenues

$28,841

$27,466

 

$115,818

$106,730

   

 

 

 

 

Cost and Expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of revenue, excluding depreciation

12,213

12,403

 

48480

48,084

Selling, general and administration

2,881

2,704

 

11,596

11,438

Corporate Office Expenses

921

1,065

 

4,006

3,992

Depreciation and amortization

5,083

4,679

 

19,746

17,880

Total Costs and Expenses

21,098

20,851

 

83,828

81,394

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating profit

7,743

6,615

 

31,990

25,336

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Income (Expense)

 

 

 

 

 

Investment income

65

49

 

612

423

Interest expense

(466)

(477)

 

(1,742)

(2,123)

Equity in earnings of affiliated companies

779

570

 

2,691

2,320

Other

(855)

(23)

 

1,199

(1,150)

 

(477)

119

 

2,760

(530)

   

 

 

 

 

Income Before Income Tax Provision

7,266

6,734

 

34,750

24,806

(Provision) Benefit for Income Taxes

(1,880)

4,716

 

(9,164)

(2,417)

Net Income

$5,386

$11,450

 

$25,586

$22,389

       

 

 

Capital Expenditures

$7,581

$8,068

 

$22,936

$22,273

       

 

 

Weighted Average Shares:

     

 

 

Basic

19,993.89

20,663.54

 

20,232.46

20,982.19

Diluted

20,028.89

20,995.32

 

20,268.55

21,046.23

Actual shares outstanding at end of period

19,931.23

20,509.37

 

19,931.23

20,509.37

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings Per Share:

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Net Income

$269.38

$554.12

 

$1,264.60

$1,067.05

Dilutive Earnings Per Share

$268.91

$553.27

 

$1,262.35

$1,063.80

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dilutive Earnings Per Share by Component:

 

 

 

 

 

On-going operations

$313.00

$209.96

 

$1,142.56

$761.37

Out of period items

 

89.40

Charitable contributions

(44.09)

 

(89.94)

(35.16)

Gain on sale of assets in a minority position

 

120.33

Deferred tax adjustment due to federal rate change

343.31

 

337.59

    Reported

$268.91

$553.27

 

$1,262.35

$1,063.80

 

 

 

 

 

 

See EBITDA on page 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


LICT Corporation                                                                                                                                            Exhibit A                                                                                                   

Statements of Operations and Selected Balance Sheet Data-Continued                                  Page 2 of 2

 (in thousands, Except Per Share Data)

 

 

SELECTED BALANCE SHEET DATA

Dec. 31,

Dec. 31,

 

 

 
 

2018

2017

 

 

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents

$7,732

$7,054

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other short-term investments

20,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note receivables and other deposits

3,250

3,250

 

 

 

       

 

 

Long-Term Debt (including current portion)

30,976

31,001

 

 

 

 

Liabilities, including taxes, other than debt

$34,017

$26,685

 

 

 
       

 

 

Shareholders’ Equity

$139,709

$122,239

 

 

 
       

 

 

Shares Outstanding at Date

19,931

20,509

 

 

 
       

 

 
           

EBITDA

         

EBITDA is an established measure of operating performance and liquidity that is commonly reported and widely used by analysts, investors, and other interested parties in the telecommunications industry because it eliminates many differences in financial, capitalization, and tax structures, as well as non-cash and non-operating charges to earnings. We believe that EBITDA trends are a valuable indicator of whether our operations are able to produce sufficient operating cash flow to fund working capital needs, service debt obligations, and fund capital expenditures.

           

EBITDA equals net income (loss), before interest expense, income tax expense (benefit), depreciation and amortization expense, investment income, equity in earnings of affiliated companies, gain (loss) on sale of investment, impairment charges, and net income from discontinued operations. EBITDA also now includes the cash distributions we receive from the equity in earnings of affiliated companies.  Although we do not have majority voting control of such companies, we have the ability to significantly influence financial and accounting policies. The inclusion of cash received from equity companies is a change from past practice.

           
 

 Three Months Ended

 

Twelve Months Ended

 

December 31,

 

December 31,

 

2018

2017

 

2018

2017

EBITDA

     

 

 

Operating subsidiaries

$13,747

$12,359

 

$55,742

$47,208

Cash received from equity affiliates

725

613

 

2,200

1,988

    On-going operating subsidiaries 

14,472

12,972

 

57,942

49,196

Deduct out of period items

 

(2,462)

    On-going EBITDA

14,472

12,972

 

55,480

49,196

Corporate Office Expense

  (921)

(1,065)

 

(4,006)

(3,992)

EBITDA

13,551

11,907

 

51,474

45,204

Depreciation and amortization

(5,083)

(4,679)

 

(19,746)

(17,880)

Add out of period items

 

2,462

Deduct cash received from equity affiliates

(725)

(613)

 

(2,200)

(1,988)

Operating profit

$7,743

$6,615

 

$25,586

$25,3361

 

 

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