Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Feb 28, 2019 • 08:30 am ET
Good morning, and welcome to the Iridium Communications Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) Please note this event is being recorded.
I'd now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Ken Levy, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.
Thanks, Carl. Good morning, and welcome to Iridium's Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Call. Joining me on this morning's call are our CEO Matt Desch; and our CFO, Tom Fitzpatrick. Today's call will begin with a discussion of our fourth quarter results, followed by Q&A. I trust you've had an opportunity to review this morning's earnings release, which is available on the Investor Relations section of Iridium's website.
Before I turn things over to Matt, I would like to caution all participants that our call may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and include statements about our future expectations, plans and prospects. Such forward-looking statements are based upon our current beliefs and expectations and are subject to risks which could cause actual results to differ from forward-looking statements. Such risks are more fully discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our remarks today should be considered in light of such risks. Any forward-looking statements represent our views only as of today, and while we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so even if our views or expectations change.
During the call, we'll also be referring to certain non-GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP financial measures are not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Please refer to today's earnings release and the Investor Relations section of our website for a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures.
With that, let me turn things over to Matt.
Matthew J. Desch
Thanks, Ken, and good morning, everyone. So by my account, this is the 37th quarterly earnings call we've held since going public in 2009, and it's certainly one of our most satisfying in terms of results and achieving our long-term goals.
As I'm sure you saw in our press release, 2018 was an outstanding year for Iridium in terms of subscriber growth, financial performance and business execution. Our subscriber base grew 16% to over 1.1 million active users; top line revenue grew 17%, our highest rate of growth as a public company; and operational EBITDA rose 14%, our best in seven years. And, of course, shortly into the new year, we realized our crowning achievement, the completion of Iridium NEXT. As a result, we enter 2019 with tremendous business momentum. We enjoy our best competitive position in corporate history and are now able to fully leverage our brand new powerful network platform. On February 5th, the final Iridium NEXT satellites went operational, completing our network of 66 new satellites.
This historic event completes a decade long