RYE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LICT Corporation (OTC Pink: LICT) reports preliminary, unaudited, financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020.
COVID-19 LICT continues to closely monitor developments and is actively taking steps to mitigate the potential risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic to our teammates and our to customers. LICT provides essential voice and data services to the communities we serve. To protect our team while continuing to provide the essential communications services needed to support remote work and remote learning, we adapted installation and repair service processes to limit customer contact and minimize teammate contact. In addition, LICT changed technician dispatch procedures to further limit contact and provided personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves and sanitizing products. Technicians are encouraged to evaluate the safety risks of each in-person installation or repair and reschedule the appointment if he or she determines that circumstances at the location present risk. Office-based teammates continue to work remotely and, for teammates that work in the company’s offices, masks and social distancing are required. We thank all our teammates for their focus on their communities.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, LICT has:
- Initiated charitable contributions to support members of our community that have been impacted by the economic fallout from the pandemic. Each of LICT’s teammates have contributed to help schools and local charitable organizations support community members effected by COVID-19.
- Provided free or discounted services to families to support remote learning.
- Set up community Wi-Fi hotspots so community members can stay connected to family, work, and learning
FOURTH QUARTER – In 2020, LICT’s fourth quarter revenues were $31.3 million compared to $30.8 million for the corresponding quarter in 2019. EBITDA was $14.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 2019. In addition, we received cash of $0.7 million in 2019 from our equity investment in Modoc which was sold at the beginning of 2020.
Non-regulated revenues increased by $2.0 million or 14%, to $16.2 million from the prior year’s $14.2 million, of which about $1.2 million resulted from an increase in sales to our broadband offerings and our video cable modem service. The increased demand for broadband speeds from both new customers as well as existing customers increasing speeds, is partially driven by the continued need for both remote learning and remote work. Non-regulated EBITDA rose just over 25% to $7.3 million, from $5.8 million.
Regulated revenues slipped to $15.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 from the prior year’s reported $16.6 million. Regulated EBITDA was $7.2 million compared to $8.8 million last year. The year-to-year decline in regulated revenues and EBITDA is traceable to a fourth quarter 2019 adjustment increasing revenues by $0.8 million related to the cost recovery mechanism reviews.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, LICT completed the sale of its New Hampshire operation, and is treating the results of the New Hampshire operation as a discontinued operation. Also, in the fourth quarter of 2020, LICT completed the sale of its Topeka AWS spectrum license.
FULL YEAR RESULTS – Revenues for 2020 were $124.1 million and EBITDA of $57.6 million compared to 2019 revenues of $118.0 million and EBITDA of $54.5. In addition, we received cash of $0.6 million in 2020 versus $2.5 million in 2019, which is included in Exhibit A.
EARNINGS PER SHARE – Diluted earnings per share from operations during the fourth quarter of 2020 were $325 per share as compared to $300 per sharein 2019. The full year diluted earnings per share from operations for 2020 was $1,343, which excludes the $512 for the gain on the sale of Modoc Limited Partnership in January 2020, compared to $1,248 at December 31, 2020. Shares outstanding at December 31, 2020 were 18,533 and 19,188 at December 31, 2019.
ALTERNATIVE – CONNECT AMERICA COST MODEL (“A-CAM”) PROGRAM – All LICT telephone companies have elected to participate in the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC’s”) A-CAM and A-CAM II programs and received $32.1 million in 2020 for A-CAM and A-CAM II revenues.
The FCC’s A-CAM program, which commenced January 1, 2017, with revisions in 2018 and 2019, and the addition of A-CAM II in Wisconsin in 2019, is designed to increase broadband speed and expand broadband deployment in rural portions of the country with mandatory build-out requirements for receipt of support. A-CAM and A-CAM II replaced two prior legacy FCC Universal Service Fund (“USF”) mechanisms which LICT had been receiving. LICT is actively building and expanding broadband facilities.
BALANCE SHEET – LICT benefited from strong cash from operations in addition to the proceeds from the MODOC Partnership sale. At 2020 year-end we had a net cash position of $24.1 million up from $3.7 million on December 31, 2019.
2021 OUTLOOK – LICT’s initial guidance for 2021 estimates total revenues of $127 - $131 million, EBITDA in the range of $58 to $60 million, and total capital expenditures between $27 and $29 million. We are aware that the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic may impact non-regulated revenue growth and potentially impact bad debt expense as an economic contraction may impair customers’ ability to purchase and pay for service.
FCC SPECTRUM AUCTIONS - LICT Wireless Broadband Company, LLC (“LICT Wireless”), a wholly owned subsidiary , participated in FCC Auction 105 – CBRS band which ended on August 25, 2020. In this auction, LICT acquired 162 licenses in 78 counties for $4.6 million of spectrum CBRS band licenses.
In Auction 904, also known as Rural Development Opportunity Fund or “RDOF”, which was held October 29, 2020 to November 23, 2020, LICT was awarded 8 census block groups in 3 states. Auction 904 is a part of the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund supporting the expansion of broadband internet services to underserved rural areas of the United States.
In addition, LICT Wireless is a qualified bidder in Auction 107- C-Band, which is ongoing.
CAPITAL EXPENDITURES – We continue to focus our capital investments to increase speeds which enables us to better serve our communities for remote work and remote learning, with enhanced broadband speeds through the increase of overall fiber route miles in our network. In the fourth quarter of 2020, capital expenditures were $8.8 million, of which $4.2 million was for non-regulated activities and $4.6 million for regulated activities, bringing our full year capital expenditures to $28.2 million dollars for 2020 compared to $24.9 million in 2019.
As of December 31, 2020, LICT operations deployed 5,211 miles of fiber optic cable, 11,490 miles of copper cable, 762 miles of coaxial cable and 56 towers.
SHARE REPURCHASES – During the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the Company repurchased 655 shares for $11.0 million, with an average price of $16,821 per share. As of December 31, 2020, 18,533 shares were outstanding.
OPERATING STATISTICS / BROADBAND DEPLOYMENT - As of December 31, 2020, the Company’s broadband penetration in its franchised telephone service territories, based on its total Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (“ILEC”) voice lines, was 90.8%, as compared to 84.8% at December 31, 2019. The Company’s broadband RGUs grew by 12.5% to just under 40,000 units, outpacing our voice and video line loss resulting in a overall growth of 5.0%. Our capital spending will enable us to meet A-CAM requirements, offer enhanced broadband speeds, and increase the overall fiber route miles in our network. Our summary operating statistics excludes New Hampshire operations, which was sold in 2019, are as follows:
|December 31,||December 31,||Increase||Increase|
|Out of franchise||7,456||7,525||(69||)||(0.9||%)|
|Revenue Generating Units||75,692||72,066||3,626||5.0||%|
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.