- Revenues increased 3.5% to $27.5 million from $26.6 million
- EBITDA grew 5.2% to $12.8 million from $12.2 million
- EPS rose to $248 per share from $180 per share – this excludes $120 per share gain from the sale of a minority interest in an investment.
Rye, NY – July 18, 2018 – LICT Corporation (“LICT” or the “Company”; OTC Pink®: LICT) reports financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018.
SECOND QUARTER RESULTS – In 2018, LICT’s second quarter revenues increased by $0.9 million, or 3.5%, to $27.5 million compared to $26.6 million for the corresponding quarter in 2017. Non-regulated revenues gained 9.8%, to $12.6 million from the prior year’s $11.5 million due to increased broadband and competitive local exchange carrier (“CLEC”) revenues. Regulated revenues decreased slightly by 1.3%, to $14.9 million in the second quarter of 2018 from the prior year’s $15.1 million.
EBITDA before corporate costs was $12.8 million as compared to $12.2 million in the previous year’s second quarter, a 5.2% increase. Non-regulated EBITDA, including affiliate distributions, rose 14.6% to $5.6 million, from $4.9 million, while regulated EBITDA decreased slightly to $7.2 million, from $7.3 million.
ALTERNATIVE – CONNECT AMERICA COST MODEL” (“A-CAM”) PROGRAM – Effective January 1, 2017, ten of LICT’s rural telephone companies elected to participate in the FCC’s A-CAM program. The A-CAM program is designed to speed and expand the deployment of broadband capacities throughout the nation’s rural areas and replaced two prior USF mechanisms for companies electing A-CAM. During 2018, the FCC expanded the A-CAM program for companies whose support was initially capped and offered the LICT companies an additional $2.9 million in annual A-CAM funding, which is retroactive to January 1, 2017. LICT expects to receive an additional $5.8 million from the expanded A-CAM program in 2018, $2.9 million of which relates to the twelve months of 2017. Through June 30, 2018, no A-CAM revenues from the expanded program have been recorded. Funding is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018.
FULL YEAR RESULTS – Bolstered by the additional A-CAM revenues, the Company forecasts that revenues for 2018 will approximate $116 million and EBITDA before corporate costs, charitable contributions and non-operating income will approximate $57 million, of which $54 million is recurring. The previous estimates were $110 million and $50 million, respectively.
LIQUIDITY EVENT FROM INVESTMENT– We recorded, in other income, in the second quarter of 2018, a gain from the partial proceeds from the sale of assets in a minority position we own, this resulted in an increase in earnings per share of $120, after tax effects.
EARNINGS PER SHARE – Diluted earnings per share, during the second quarter were $248 per share in 2018 as compared to $180 per share in 2017 ($368 per share after including the non-recurring gain stemming from the sale of assets in a minority position we own). Shares outstanding at June 30, 2018, were 20,304 versus 20,509 at December 31, 2017.
BALANCE SHEET – Our net debt was $12.4 million at June 30, 2018, as compared to $23.9 million on December 31, 2017.
CEO SEARCH – As previously announced, we are searching for a successor to Mario J. Gabelli as Chief Executive Officer of LICT. The individual should have knowledge of broadband and, in particular, of rural communities, as well as opportunities to serve colleges, universities, hospitals, small businesses and residences. Mr. Gabelli will continue to serve as Executive Chairman upon the completion of the search.
SHAREHOLDER DESIGNATED CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION PROGRAM — On April 30, 2018 the Companyannounced it was continuing its shareholder Charitable Contribution Program in 2018 for all registered shareholders. The program was originally adopted in 2016 and all registered shareholders as of July 20, 2018, will be eligible to designate charities to which the company will make a donation of $100 per share on behalf of the shareholder. Subsequent to July 27, 2018, we will send a letter to each registered shareholder, requesting their designated 501 (c) (3) organization. During 2017, the Company conducted a similar Shareholder Designated Contribution Program, also at $100 per share, and charitable contributions totaled $1.2 million.
CONNECT AMERICA FUND II (“CAF II”) Reverse Auction 903 – The Company is an accepted bidder in the FCC Auction 903 – CAF II. In this Auction, the FCC is providing qualified bidders the right to receive annual support payments for ten years in exchange for a bidder’s commitment to provide specified levels of broadband service to certain rural areas of the United States that are currently unserved or under-served. In the Auction, which is scheduled to begin on July 24, 2018, bidders bid for declining amounts of annual support until the Auction meets its specified target level of approximately $200 million.
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 lower over effective tax rate in the first half of 2018 to 26.4%, from 39.5% in the first half of 2017.
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 – In the first half of 2018, capital expenditures were $9.9 million, of which $5.6 million was for non-regulated activities and $4.3 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, we are expecting capital expenditures of $21 million in 2018. This capital enables us to offer enhanced broadband speeds and will increase the overall fiber route miles in our network. As of June 30, 2018, LICT operations deployed 4,511 miles of fiber optic cable, 12,042 miles of copper cable, and 695 miles of coaxial cable.
SHARE REPURCHASES – During the six months ended June 30, 2018, the Company repurchased 240 shares for $2.9 million, with an average price of $11,997 per share. In addition, in the first quarter of 2018, 35 shares were issued under the Company’s Restricted Stock Awards program. As of June 30, 2018, 20,304 shares were outstanding.
OPERATING STATISTICS – As of June 30, 2018, the Company’s DSL penetration in its franchised telephone service territories, based on its total Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (“ILEC”) voice lines, was 80.9%, compared to 79.5% as of December 31, 2017. Our summary operating statistics are as follows:
|Revenue Generating Units||72,243||71,167||1,076||1.5%|
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