Hughes Communications' Earnings Plummet

Despite an expanded subscriber base, the company's fourth quarter earnings dropped 83%.
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On February 26, 2009,

Hughes Communications

(HUGH)

reported that its Q4 FY08 earnings plunged 83.2%, hurt by one-time charges. Net income for the quarter fell to $3.35 million from $19.93 million in Q4 FY07. Excluding one-time items, earnings plummeted 60.4% to $8.36 million. The consensus estimate for the latest quarter was $0.34 per share.

During the latest fourth quarter, revenue inched up 2.2% to $285.77 million from $279.71 million in Q4 FY07, led by favorable currency translation and expansion in the company's customer base. Services revenue increased 3.4% to $156.16 million, while Hardware sales edged up to $129.62 million. Segment-wise, North America VSAT revenue grew 9.1% to $180.23 million, while International VSAT segment revenue descended 12.1% to $67.07 million. Additionally, Telecom Systems' revenue inched up to $38.36 million from $38.10 million. Meanwhile, HUGH's consumer/subscriber base expanded 16.0% year-over-year on gross basis as it had 42,000 new consumer activations. Hughes' booking orders declined 17.8% to $274.10 million from $333.33 million. Quarterly churn rate reduced to 2.4% from 2.6% in Q3 FY08.

During Q4 FY08, HCIL, a subsidiary of Hughes, delivered an additional 2600 VSATs for installation at rural kiosks in India. Recently, the company launched the Inter-Government Crisis Network (IGCN), a satellite-based solution that enables government agencies to communicate securely and reliably in preparing for and responding to failures of terrestrial networks. Additionally, the company signed Broad Sky Networks as an authorized reseller of Hughes Net broadband satellite business solutions in the U.S.

For FY08, HUGH's total revenue rose 9.2% to $1.06 billion from $970.65 million in the previous year. Moreover, net loss widened to $310,000 or $0.44 per share from $113,000 or $2.26 per share in FY07.