Clearwire reported its 2Q09 results August 11. The major proponent of WiMAX broadband wireless networks in the US recorded a 9% year-over-year increase in revenue to $63.6 million from $58.6 million, driven by an 11% increase in subscribers. ARPU held steady at $39.47 as the company launched CLEAR networks in the Atlanta and Las Vegas metro areas, increasing its network coverage footprint by some 1,800 square miles and nearly 5 million people, management reported.
Clearwire’s WiMAX launches in Portland and Atlanta resulted in 12,000 new subscribers in 2Q — offsetting higher seasonal churn in 46 Pre-WiMAX markets. Other highlights included an increase of nearly 40% in POP coverage to 23.1 million and enabling nationwide roaming for CLEAR markets via the Clear 4G+ mobile 4G/3G service. Also during 2Q, Clearwire equity partners Comcast, Sprint and Time Warner Cable announced their 2009 4G plans, with Comcast launching its first Clearwire/WiMAX services.
“The strides we have made in the past two months, including the launch of CLEAR in Atlanta and Las Vegas, nationwide roaming with the CLEAR 4G+ dual-mode modem and wholesale distribution with Comcast in Portland and Atlanta clearly demonstrate Clearwire’s ability to build on early momentum and begin to successfully execute against our aggressive growth plans,” said Clearwire CEO Bill Morrow.
Clearwire continues to burn through cash as it grows its network — adjusted OIBDA was -$147.197 million in 2Q — but with $2.5 billion in cash and short-term investments, its looking to continue its broadband (4G) wireless network build-out. Clearwire’s design and development pipeline for 2H09 include adding more than 20,000 cell sites. Management is also looking to cover 30 million POPs by year-end and expand the CLEAR 4G network five-fold by the end of 2009 to reach more than 30 million people in more than 25 markets.
2Q09 Operating Highlights
- Total subscribers 511,000 as of end 2Q, a 10.85% y/y increase pro forma
- 37,000 new subscribers added in 1H09 compares to 67,000 net adds pro forma in 1H08
- Churn up 0.2% to 2.8% y/y
- 2Q Cost per Gross Addition (CPGA) of $524 as compared to $449 pro forma, up 16.7% y/y
- Covered POPs of 23.1 million, up 37.5% from 16.8 million in 2Q08 pro forma
2Q09 Financial Highlights
- 1H net loss of $144.429 million ($0.75 per share diluted), down 4% from $151.083 million ($0.81) y/y pro forma
- 1H09 revenue of $125.7 million 14% higher from $110.1 million 1H08 pro forma
- ARPU of $39.47, up $0.19 from $39.28 pro forma end of 2Q08
- 2Q Capex of $251 million, up 17.3% from $214 million pro forma 2Q08
- 1H09 Capex of $363 million compares to $526 million in 1H08 pro forma, down 31%