This is the day that Intelsat (NYSE:I) shareholders have waited for. At long last, Intelsat stock is going up for a reason that investors can easily understand: earnings.
This morning, shares of the satellite communications concern jumped 8% (as of 11:55 a.m. EST) in response to fiscal fourth-quarter earnings results that exceeded expectations. Admittedly, Intelsat exceeded those expectations as it lost money -- but at least it lost less than expected.
So what exactly did Intelsat report this morning?
For fiscal Q4, Intelsat lost $0.81 per diluted share on sales of $517 million. That doesn't sound great at first, but when you consider that Wall Street had predicted a bigger loss ($0.94) on smaller sales ($500.9 million), the quarter was clearly a "win" for Intelsat.
Sales declined 5% year over year, yet Intelsat's per-share loss was flat against year-ago numbers.
For the full year, sales of $2.1 billion likewise fell 5%, while losses swelled 41%. Here, too, it appears that Intelsat made progress in Q4, by slowing the rate at which it loses money. Management also noted that Intelsat generated positive free cash flow for the year -- $70.2 million.
Looking ahead, three things stand out.
First, new guidance for fiscal 2020 anticipates somewhere between $1.93 billion and $1.98 billion in revenue. That's not particularly good news given that Wall Street is hoping to see Intelsat book $1.98 billion -- period. Intelsat's guidance range suggests that hitting that target is no sure thing.
Second, Intelsat updated its guidance for future capital spending:
- $200 million to $250 million in 2020;
- $225 million to $300 million in 2021; and
- $225 million to $325 million in 2022.
Without knowing cash flow, we can't figure an exact free cash flow for any of these years -- but just knowing the capital expenditure numbers is a start.
Finally, Intelsat confirmed today that the FCC is offering it about $4.85 billion in proceeds from the planned sale of C-band spectrum currently controlled by Intelsat. Consider that a starting position, though, because Intelsat is working "on successfully improving the draft order proposed by the FCC while preserving all our rights."
Translation: Intelsat could get more than $4.85 billion.
And the more it gets, the higher Intelsat stock should go.