Vonage Holdings' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Vonage Holdings Corp. ( VG)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 15, 2012 10:00 AM ET


Leslie Arena – Vice President, Investor Relations

Marc Lefar – Chief Executive Officer

Barry Rowan – Chief Financial Officer


Michael Rollins – Citi

Mike Latimore – Northland Capital

Robert Routh – Phoenix Partners Group

Brian Hurray – Analyst



Good day, everyone. And welcome to the Vonage Holdings Corp. Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. Just as a reminder, today’s call is being recorded.

At this time, for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the conference over to Ms. Leslie Arena, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead Ms. Arena.

Leslie Arena

Thank you. Good morning. And welcome to our fourth quarter and full year 2011 earnings conference call. Speaking on our call this morning will be Marc Lefar, Chief Executive Officer; and Barry Rowan, CFO. Marc will discuss the company’s progress and strategy and Barry will review our financial results.

Slides that accompany Barry’s discussion are available on the Investor Relations website. At the conclusion of our prepared remarks, we will be happy to take your questions.

As referenced on slide two, I would like to remind everyone that statements made during this call that are not historical facts or information, may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These and all forward-looking statements, are based on management’s current beliefs and expectations, and depend on assumptions or data that may be incorrect or imprecise.

Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. More information about those risks and uncertainties is highlighted on the second page of the slides and contained in our SEC filings. We caution listeners not to rely unduly on forward-looking statements and disclaim any intent or obligation to update them.

During this call, we will be referring to non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation to comparable GAAP measures is available on the IR website.

And now, I will turn the call over to Marc.

Marc Lefar

Thank you, Leslie. Before I review our results and provide our outlook for 2012. I’d like to provide an update on the response we’ve seen to our new Vonage Mobile app, which we launched last week.

Vonage Mobile, the most exciting product we’ve offered since the launch of our initial VoIP service and continues our heritage of offering innovative products to deliver great value and convenience to customers. If you have not yet downloaded the app or seen last week’s press release, let me take a moment to describe it for you.

Vonage Mobile is a free downloadable application for iPhone and Android that lets users make free high-definition calls and send free texts to all users of the app worldwide. It works over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G wireless data networks. When calling people who don’t have the app, users get ultra low-cost calling worldwide with pay per-minute rates that are on average 70% less than major mobile carriers and 30% less than Skype.

Vonage Mobile consolidates the best features of our prior applications, while adding important functionality, better value and improved ease-of-use. Early interest has been extremely positive. There have already been over 500 stories published globally and we’ve substantially exceeded our pre-launch expectations of 100,000 downloads in the first week. Most user reviews have been very favorable. We plan to release improvements in new features every few weeks.

Vonage Mobile combines the best of free voice and messaging services with exceptional high-definition audio and incredible value for traditional international calling all while using the existing mobile number and address book. If you haven’t downloaded the app, I encourage you to do so and let us know what you think.

The successful development and launch of Vonage Mobile is an emblematic of the strategic and operational progress we’ve made transforming our company.

As we close out one year and begin the next. I would like to provide some context for where we are and how far we’ve come. Over the last three years we have completely transformed the operational, financial and strategic dimensions of our business.

Operationally, we’ve graded -- upgraded systems, streamline processes, improved the customer experience and stabilized our subscriber base. Through these efforts we’ve dramatically improved our operating and financial results, driving over $200 million in EBITDA improvement, while significantly improving customer satisfaction ratings.

A lowering churn from highs of nearly 3.5% will reduce customer losses from 155,000 in 2009 to 30,000 in each of the past two years and operational improvements have enabled us to lower our cost structure to its low level in six years.

Building on our sustained operational performance, we completed two comprehensive refinancing in a span of eight months. Lowering interest rates from a high of 20% to less than 4% and cut our overall debt level by two-thirds saving $43 million in annual interest expense.

Not that long ago our business were unprofitable and burning significant amounts of cash. In 2011, our business generated nearly $100 million in net income and for the past two years it has generated more than $100 billion in free cash flow. And the decision to account for our $800 million in net operating losses as a deferred tax asset this quarter reflects our strong profitability and expectations for continuing future income. Many did not think these results were possible.

Perhaps more settled, but equally important shift has been on a strategic front. In 2009, we identified an opportunity to leverage our technology and position in the domestic home phone market to concentrate on international long distance callers, which led to the introduction of Vonage World.

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