Clearwire Promises Growth Spurt

Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) is promising a growth spurt for its WiMax networks in the the last three months of the year as it reports a slightly narrower loss for the second quarter.

Table 1: Clearwire Q2 Earnings
2Q08 2Q09 Change (%)
Revenues ($M) 58.60 63.60 +9%
Net Income ($M) -74.60 -73.37 -2%
EPS ($) -0.40 -0.38 -5%
Source: Clearwire LLC

The earnings per share beat Thomson Reuters analyst estimates by $0.01, but slightly missed revenue expectations.

The Kirkland, Wash.-based operator says that it will now cover 25 markets and over 30 million users by the end of this year. This is "on track" with its stated goal of 80 markets and 120 million POPs by the end of 2010.

“Our key vendors have been named, our balance sheet is strong, and we remain confident about the growth of the market," said new CEO Bill Morrow on today's earnings call. Clearwire executives spent much of the call focusing on network buildout plans and how its "Clear" mobile WiMax service will grow by the end of the year. The service is currently available in new markets such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Las Vegas, and Portland, as well as 10 "conversion" markets where the firm previously offered only fixed wireless connections. (See Clearwire Launches in 10 New Markets.) This translates into total user subscriptions of 511,000, up 11 percent year-on-year. The company is describing average monthly revenue per user, at $39.47, as "stable."

Clearwire's Morrow promises that growth will continue to increase through the balance of the year. "We anticipate fourth-quarter net subscribers additions will be higher than all other quarters in 2009 combined," Morrow said.

Executives also sounded more upbeat about securing cash for network buildouts. “We are increasingly encouraged about the prospects of finding additional funding on terms favorable to us," Morrow told his audience.

The company's stock was up 20 cents (2.43%) to $8.43 each in after-hours trading Tuesday.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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