Clearwire Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Clearwire (CLWR)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

July 26, 2012 4:30 pm ET


Alice Ryder

Erik E. Prusch - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Hope F. Cochran - Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

John C. B. Saw - Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President


Walter Piecyk - BTIG, LLC, Research Division

Jennifer M. Fritzsche - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Jonathan Chaplin - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Richard H. Prentiss - Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Research Division

Michael J. Funk - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Shing Yin - Guggenheim Securities, LLC, Research Division

Philip Cusick - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division



Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Clearwire Corporation Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's call is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Ms. Alice Ryder. Ma'am, you may begin.

Alice Ryder

Thank you, Shannon. Good afternoon, and welcome to Clearwire's Second Quarter 2012 Financial Results Conference Call.

With me today are Erik Prusch, Clearwire's President and Chief Executive Officer; and Hope Cochran, our Chief Financial Officer. John Saw, our Chief Technology Officer, is also available for the question-and-answer session.

Today's call is being webcast live on the Clearwire Investor Relations website and will be archived on that site and available for replay shortly after we conclude.

Unless otherwise mentioned, where applicable, all sequential comparisons in today's discussion reference first quarter 2012 financial measures and all year-over-year comparisons reference second quarter 2011 financial measures.

In addition, today's call may contain forward-looking statements reflecting management's beliefs and assumptions concerning future events and trends and/or expectations regarding financial results. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, our future financial and operating performance and financial condition, including projections and targets for 2012 and subsequent period, subscriber growth, network deployment or development plans, strategic plans and objectives and future liquidity.

These forward-looking statements are all based on currently available operating financial and competitive information and are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Listeners are cautioned not to put undue reliance on any forward-looking statements as they are not a guarantee of future performance.

Please refer to our press release and our filings with the SEC for more information concerning risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The company assumes no obligation to update any of these statements.

Finally, all mentions of EBITDA on this call reference adjusted EBITDA as defined in our press release where listeners may find definitions and reconciliations for all non-GAAP measures discussed today.

And all mentions of retail cash contribution represent retail revenue, less cost of goods and services sold to retail customers, general and administrative expenses, such as customer care, bad debt and sales and marketing expenses and CapEx related to leased CPE under our original retail model.

I will now turn the call over to Erik Prusch.

Erik E. Prusch

Thank you, Alice. Good afternoon. Before I update you on our progress in the second quarter, I'd like to take a moment to provide some prospective on recent events. During the second quarter, we continued to see notable spectrum activity on the part of several carriers in various forms, including swaps, regional or individual market tuck-in acquisitions and efforts to make impaired spectrum more usable.

While these actions may prove marginally helpful in alleviating some of the growing demand on carriers networks, we do not believe any of these transactions provide a comprehensive solution to their capacity needs, especially in high usage, dense urban markets.

In contrast, Clearwire's deep portfolio of 160 megahertz of spectrum on average in the top 100 U.S. markets is ideally suited to help operators capitalize on this growing demand. Not only is our 2.5 gigahertz frequency highly conducive to transmitting massive amounts of data, but our large swaps of continuous spectrum also enable us to push the limits of LTE technology with fat 20-megahertz pipes or even fatter 40-megahertz pipes with carrier aggregation.

This is a key advantage as it produces the fastest speeds in the industry, offering users a better experience and also offers carriers an option to deliver data in a very capital efficient manner. In

addition, we believe that rapid global adoption of our frequency band, which is expected to drive significant device and infrastructure economies of scale further enhances our spectrum value.

Major carriers are reporting increasing data revenue despite consumer price hikes, making it clear consumers love their data access and are likely to continue to demand even more for mobile networks as the number of connected devices continues to increase. And each new version offers more features and capabilities, further compounding the demands on the network.

Our own customers provide evidence of this dynamic as we've seen an increasing share of total network tonnage from video and other streaming applications. As a result, we believe wireless operators will inevitably be forced to add network capacity, and there are a few readily available options for spectrum resources outside of Clearwire.

We also have fundamental beliefs that fit. IDC fittingly points out in our release today, and I quote, "Clearwire is able to operate on a single bandwidth in approximately 160 megahertz of spectrum on average in top 100 markets where capacity constraints are most likely to emerge for other carriers.

As result, Clearwire has the capability to offer greater capacity and better network performance by virtue of a significantly fatter pipe. With several tier 1 operators already seeing a point in the not-too-distant future at which their existing LTE capacity is fully loaded, wholesale partnerships provide the ability to augment capacity in the most constrained markets."

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