Rye, NY – May 14, 2015 – LICT Corporation (“LICT”; OTC Pink®: LICT) is reporting results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015.
FIRST QUARTER RESULTS – Revenues decreased by $0.2 million, or 0.8%, to $21.1 million compared to the corresponding quarter in 2014. EBITDA before corporate costs was $9.2 million, as compared to $9.8 million in the previous year’s first quarter.
Regulated revenues were $12.5 million in the 2015 first quarter, off $1.3 million from the prior year quarter, reflecting lower intra-state revenues, primarily at our New Mexico operation, and lower inter-state revenues across all of our operations. Offsetting this decline was a 15.6% increase in our non-regulated revenues to $8.6 million from the prior year’s $7.4 million, principally due to increased broadband and competitive local exchange carrier (“CLEC”) revenues. The $1.3 million regulated revenue decline resulted in the same amount of regulated EBITDA decline while non- regulated EBITDA grew $0.4 million to $3.4 million during the quarter. Corporate expenses were $0.7 million, lower than the first quarter of 2014 of $0.8 million.
Earnings per share from continuing operations during the first quarter were $87 in 2015 versus $117 in 2014. Shares outstanding at March 31, 2015, were 22,242 versus 22,272 at December 31, 2014 and 22,423 at March 31, 2014.
FULL YEAR RESULTS – For the year ending December 31, 2015, LICT is expecting revenues to be approximately $87 million, as compared to $85.9 million in 2014. LICT is expecting EBITDA, prior to corporate costs but including cash received from our equity affiliates, of approximately $38 million, as compared to $37.8 million in 2014.
CAPITAL EXPENDITURES AND DEPRECIATION EXPENSE – In 2015, capital expenditures were $3.9 million for the first quarter of 2015 as compared to $3.2 million in the first quarter of 2014. This reflects our commitment to provide the communities we serve with enhanced communication capabilities and our continued investment in the improvement of our products and in our network infrastructure, particularly our broadband networks. Through upgraded electronics and fiber extensions deeper into our networks, we have improved the speed, the capacity and the reliability of our broadband service offerings.
FCC SPECTRUM AUCTION 97-Advanced Wireless Service (AWS-3) – A subsidiary of the Company, Lynch 3G Communications Corporation, participated in the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Auction 97, Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-3) Spectrum. We were outbid by behemoths, some of which received small business discounts. The Auction concluded in February 2015 and the subsidiary received back from the FCC its Auction deposit of $19.0 million.
BROADBAND REGULATION – In April 2014, the FCC ordered further modifications to Intercarrier Compensation (‘ICC’) and the Universal Service Fund (“USF”), and issued a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”). Due to the many unresolved items in the FNPRM, which may impact “rate-of-return carriers” including many of our companies, it is not possible to predict the impact that the FCC’s ICC and USF reforms will have on LICT’s future revenues at this time. ICC and USF programs generate, on a combined basis, approximately 40% of our revenues. We believe that government policy will continue to encourage and support communication services in rural areas, but there is no certainty that such support will be continued at historical levels. As a result of this, as well as opportunities created from new technologies, including the internet, we have focused on developing non-regulated, high speed businesses, such as broadband service by fiber optic and advanced DSL technologies, to supplement our traditional rural telephone services.
OPERATING STATISTICS – As of March 31, 2015, the Company’s DSL penetration in its franchised telephone service territories, based on total RLEC voice lines, was 72.4%, compared to 71.6% as of December 31, 2014. Our summary operating statistics are as follows:
|March 31, 2015||Dec. 31, 2014||Increase|
|ILEC voice lines||27,998||28,001||(3)||(0.0%)|
|CLEC voice lines||5,156||5,019||137||2.7%|
|Total voice lines||33,154||33,020||134||0.4%|
|LD Resale lines||15,617||15,531||86||0.6%|
BALANCE SHEET – As of March 31, 2015, the company had approximately $23.9 million in cash and $56.6 million in total debt, or $32.7 million in net debt, as compared to $36.3 million at December 31, 2014. The net debt at December 31, 2014 includes the Auction 97 deposit that was returned in February 2015. The net debt at March 31, 2014 totaled $36.3 million.
REFINANCING THE COMPANY – In December 2014, the Company secured a $30 million line of credit agreement to replace its existing $25 million line of credit. This replacement line expires in December 2017. The line provides the company with increased financial flexibility for expanded business initiatives, higher borrowing capacity, shareholder compensation, and at a lower interest rate. Interest expense was $791,000 in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to $1,045,000 in the first quarter of 2014.
SHARE REPURCHASES – During the quarter ended March 31, 2015, the Company repurchased 119 shares for $0.6 million at an average price of $4,978 per share. We have 636 shares left in our 1,000 share buyback authorization. As of March 31, 2015, 22,242 shares were outstanding. We note that 89 shares were issued in March 2015 under the Company’s Restricted Stock Plan.
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, and such 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 www.lictcorp.com.
Contact: Robert E. Dolan
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer 914/921-8821