MCLEAN, Va., May 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) ("Iridium") today reported financial results for the first quarter of 2013 and affirmed its outlook for the full-year 2013. Net income was $14.9 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2013, as compared to $12.4 million, or $0.16 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012. Operational EBITDA ("OEBITDA") (1) for the first quarter was $46.8 million, as compared to $43.9 million for the prior-year period, representing year-over-year growth of 7 percent and an OEBITDA margin (1) of 53 percent. OEBITDA benefited from growth in commercial service revenue and lower operating costs.
Iridium reported first-quarter total revenue of $89.2 million, which consisted of $68.8 million of service revenue and $20.4 million of equipment, engineering and support revenue. Total revenue declined 5 percent versus the comparable period of 2012, while service revenue grew 3 percent from the year-ago period. Total revenue declined largely due to 20 percent lower equipment revenue resulting from fewer overall unit sales. Service revenue, which represents primarily recurring revenue from Iridium's growing subscriber base, was 77 percent of total revenue for the first quarter of 2013 as compared to 72 percent in the year-ago period.
The Company ended the quarter with 621,000 total billable subscribers, which compares to 544,000 for the year-ago period and is up from 611,000 for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. Total billable subscribers grew 14 percent year-over-year, driven by strength in machine-to-machine ("M2M") and commercial voice customers."We affirmed our 2013 financial outlook across the board today, while continuing to make strong progress in key strategic areas for our business," said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. "Our satellite network continues to perform well, and the Iridium NEXT build remains on budget and on schedule. Our global aviation monitoring venture, Aireon, has also taken a big step forward, recently announcing its first long-term commercial data service contract with NAV CANADA, the world's largest provider of air traffic services for oceanic flights. This transformational new business is really beginning to take shape, as Iridium is now targeting nearly $500 million in revenue from the Aireon opportunity."