Towerstream Corporation
Nov 4, 2010

Towerstream Reports Strong Sequential Growth in Adjusted EBITDA Profitability

MIDDLETOWN, R.I., Nov. 4, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Towerstream (Nasdaq:TWER), a leading 4G service provider delivering high-speed wireless Internet access to businesses in 11 major metropolitan areas in the U.S., announced results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2010.

Third Quarter Operating Highlights

Management Comments

"We are pleased with the mix of organic and post acquisition growth during the quarter," stated Jeff Thompson, Chief Executive Officer. "Our Los Angeles market reported 11% sequential organic revenue growth over the second quarter of 2010 and 69% revenue growth compared to the third quarter of 2009. Our Chicago market posted a 15% sequential revenue increase as customer interest surged following completion of the Sparkplug acquisition in the second quarter."

"Our Smartphone Backhaul program continues to progress with the initiation of pilot trials with potential strategic revenue partners," added Mr. Thompson. "We believe that carriers will seek multiple solutions to address network capacity issues associated with exploding demand from smartphones, tablets, and other devices."

"We are pleased to report strong sequential growth in Adjusted EBITDA profitability," stated Joseph Hernon, Chief Financial Officer. "Our Adjusted EBITDA loss improved for nine consecutive quarters prior to our reaching Adjusted EBITDA profitability in the second quarter 2010. We are confident that the predictability of our monthly recurring revenue model and our ability to add customers to our network at low marginal costs will result in similar consistent improvements in Adjusted EBITDA profitability going forward."

Selected Financial Data and Key Operating Metrics
(All dollars are in thousands except ARPU)
   
  (Unaudited)
  Three months ended
  9/30/2010 6/30/2010 9/30/2009
Selected Financial Data      
Revenues $ 5,080 $ 4,869 $ 3,783
Gross margin 75% 75% 75%
Depreciation and amortization 1,557 1,454 1,036
Core operating expenses (1)(2)(3) 3,681 3,893 3,589
Operating loss (1)(2) (1,409) (1,685)  (1,773)
Net loss (1)(2) (1,387) (1,306) (2,138)
Adjusted EBITDA (1)(3) 382 46 (530)
       
Capital expenditures $ 1,051 $ 1,778 $ 1,657
       
Key Operating Metrics      
Churn rate (3) 1.60% 1.15% 1.71%
ARPU (3) $ 669 $ 671 $ 731
ARPU of new customers (3)  543  550 536
       
(1) Includes non-recurring expenses of $32, $245 and $96, respectively.
(2) Includes stock-based compensation of $220, $264 and $189, respectively.
(3) See Non-GAAP Measures below for a definition and reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA,
and definitions of Core Operating Expenses, Churn, ARPU and ARPU of new customers.

Analysis of Results of Operations and Financial Condition

Third Quarter 2010 Results of Operations

Revenues for the third quarter 2010 increased 4% from the second quarter 2010 and increased 34% compared to the third quarter 2009. These increases were driven by 44% growth in our customer base from approximately 1,800 customers at the end of the third quarter 2009 to approximately 2,600 at the end of the third quarter 2010.

ARPU of new customers decreased 1% in the third quarter 2010 compared to the second quarter 2010 and increased 1% compared to the third quarter 2009. 

ARPU of all customers in the third quarter 2010 decreased less than 1% compared to the second quarter 2010 and decreased 8% compared to the third quarter 2009. The decrease in ARPU of all customers compared to the third quarter 2009 related to the Sparkplug acquisition, which had the effect of lowering our post acquisition ARPU, and also reflects the adverse effect of the long economic recession on customer purchasing decisions.

Customer churn during the third quarter 2010 was 1.60% compared to 1.15% during the second quarter 2010 and 1.71% during the third quarter 2009. While our churn rate was higher on a sequential basis, it was within our targeted range of 1.4% to 1.7% and remains low compared to industry averages.

Gross margin remained stable at 75% in the third quarter 2010 compared to 75% for both the second quarter 2010 and third quarter 2009. 

Depreciation and amortization expenses increased 7% in the third quarter 2010 compared to the second quarter 2010 and increased 50% compared to the third quarter 2009. The increases are consistent with a higher base of depreciable assets primarily related to our network and customer premise equipment. Gross depreciable assets totaled $31.0 million at the end of the third quarter 2010 compared to $29.9 million and $25.3 million at the end of the second quarter 2010 and third quarter 2009, respectively. Amortization expense totaled $0.3 million in the third quarter 2010 and second quarter 2010, respectively, related to a customer contract based intangible asset recorded in connection with the Sparkplug acquisition which closed in April 2010.

Customer support expenses decreased 5% in the third quarter 2010 compared to the second quarter 2010 and increased 17% compared to the third quarter 2009. The increase compared to the third quarter 2009 reflected staffing additions and other costs incurred to support a customer base which increased 44% over the one year period. 

Sales and marketing expenses decreased 2% in the third quarter 2010 compared to the second quarter 2010 and decreased 7% compared to the third quarter 2009. The year-over-year improvement related to lower sales headcount which averaged 51 in the third quarter 2010 compared to 60 in the third quarter 2009. During 2009, the Company's sales and marketing strategy evolved towards the enhanced use of Internet-based marketing programs which has both increased qualified leads and enabled the Company to reduce headcount. Sales headcount includes direct sales which consists of account executives and sales managers.

General and administrative expenses decreased 8% in the third quarter 2010 compared to the second quarter 2010 and increased 6% compared to the third quarter 2009. The sequential decrease is attributable to higher professional services costs in the second quarter 2010, primarily related to the Sparkplug acquisition. The increase from third quarter 2009 is primarily related to higher payroll costs.

Net loss increased 6% in the third quarter 2010 compared to the second quarter 2010 and decreased 35% compared to the third quarter 2009. The sequential increase during the third quarter 2010 related to a gain on business acquisition of approximately $356,000 that was recorded in the second quarter 2010. The year-over-year improvement primarily related to a 34% increase in revenues partially offset by a 17% increase in operating expenses.

Capital expenditures totaled $1.1 million for the third quarter 2010 as compared to $1.8 million for the second quarter 2010 and $1.7 million for the third quarter 2009. During the second quarter 2010, we spent $0.6 million related to the construction of a smart phone offload network in New York City.

Operating Outlook and Guidance

Non-GAAP Measures

The terms "Adjusted EBITDA," "Churn," "Churn rate," "ARPU," and "Market Cash Flow" are measurements used by Towerstream to monitor business performance and are not recognized measures under generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). Accordingly, investors are cautioned in using or relying upon these measures as alternatives to recognized GAAP measures. Our methods of calculating these measures may differ from other issuers and, accordingly, may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.

We focus on Adjusted EBITDA as a principal indicator of the operating performance of our business. EBITDA represents net income (loss) before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. We define Adjusted EBITDA as net income (loss) before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization expenses, excluding, when applicable, stock-based compensation, other non-operating income or expenses as well as gain or loss on (i) disposal of property and equipment, (ii) derivative instruments, and (iii) business acquisitions. Adjusted Market EBITDA also excludes corporate overhead expenses and other centralized costs. We believe that Adjusted Market EBITDA trends are insightful indicators of our markets' relative performance, and whether our markets are able to produce sufficient market cash flow to fund working capital and capital expenditure needs.

The term "Core Operating Expenses" includes customer support services, sales and marketing, and general and administrative expenses, and excludes cost of revenues, depreciation and amortization.

The terms "Churn" and "Churn rate" refer to the percent of revenue lost on a monthly basis from customers disconnecting from our network or reducing the amount of their bandwidth. The term "ARPU" refers to the monthly average revenue per user, or customer, being generated from those customers under contract at the end of each indicated period. We calculate ARPU by dividing our monthly recurring revenue ("MRR") at the end of a period by the number of customers generating that MRR. ARPU of new customers is calculated in the same manner but only includes new customers who entered into contracts during the indicated period. Market Cash Flow represents the amount of cash generated in a market after deducting a market's direct operating expenses from that market's revenues. Market Cash Flow does not include (i) centralized costs which support all markets collectively or (ii) any network related capital expenditures incurred in a market.

The Non-GAAP measure, Adjusted EBITDA, has been reconciled to Net loss as follows:

(All dollars are in thousands)  
  Three months ended
  9/30/2010 6/30/2010 9/30/2009
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP to GAAP:      
Adjusted EBITDA $ 382  $ 46  $ (530)
Interest expense -- -- (185)
Interest income 1 1 4
Gain on business acquisition -- 356  --
Other income (expense), net 21 22  --
Loss on derivative financial instruments         -- -- (184)
Loss on property and equipment (14) (13) (18)
Depreciation and amortization  (1,557)  (1,454)  (1,036)
Stock-based compensation (220) (264) (189)
Net loss $ (1,387) $ (1,306) $ (2,138)
 
 
Summary Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements
(All dollars are in thousands except per share amounts)
         
         
Statement of Operations
(Unaudited)
  Three months ended
September 30,
Nine months ended
September 30,
  2010 2009 2010 2009
         
Revenues $ 5,080 $ 3,783 $ 14,193  $ 10,873
         
Operating Expenses        
Cost of revenues (exclusive of depreciation) 1,251 931 3,533 2,672
Depreciation and amortization 1,557 1,036 4,112 2,965
Customer support services 637 544 1,887 1,578
Sales and marketing 1,286 1,380 3,833 4,341
General and administrative 1,758 1,665 5,474 5,183
Total Operating Expenses 6,489 5,556 18,839 16,739
Operating Loss (1,409) (1,773) (4,646) (5,866)
Other Income (Expense)        
Interest income 1 4 2 26
Interest expense -- (185) -- (553)
Gain on business acquisition -- -- 356 --
Loss on derivative financial instruments -- (184) -- (260)
Other income (expense), net 21 -- 63 --
Total Other Income (Expense) 22 (365) 421 (787)
Net Loss $ (1,387) $ (2,138)  $ (4,225)  $ (6,653)
         
Net loss per common share $ (0.04) $ (0.06) $ (0.12) $ (0.19)
Net loss per common share excluding stock-based compensation   $ (0.03)  $ (0.06)  $ (0.10)  $ (0.18)
Weighted average common shares outstanding — basic and diluted 35,005 34,610 34,864 34,598
     
  (Unaudited) (Audited)
Balance Sheet
 
September 30,
2010
December 31,
2009
Assets    
Current Assets    
Cash and cash equivalents $  8,405 $ 14,041
Accounts receivable, net  420 403
Other  192 258
Total Current Assets  9,017 14,702
     
Property and equipment, net  14,854 13,635
     
Other assets  2,073   1,166
     
Total Assets  25,944  29,503
     
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity    
Current Liabilities    
Accounts payable  746  1,056
Accrued expenses  1,450 1,086
Deferred revenues  591 1,029 
Other  84  79
Total Current Liabilities  2,871 3,250
     
Long-Term Liabilities    
Derivative liabilities  -- 567
Other  212 275
Total Long-Term Liabilities  212  842
Total Liabilities  3,083  4,092
     
Stockholders' Equity    
Common stock  35   35
Additional paid-in-capital  56,803  55,127
Accumulated deficit  (33,977)  (29,751)
Total Stockholders' Equity  22,861  25,411
Total Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity $ 25,944 $  29,503
     
     
Statement of Cash Flows (Unaudited) Nine months ended September 30,
  2010 2009
Cash Flows From Operating Activities    
Net loss $   (4,225) $    (6,653)
Non-cash adjustments:    
Depreciation & amortization  4,112   2,965
Stock-based compensation  678   576
Gain on business acquisition  (356)    --
Other  94   708
Changes in operating assets and liabilities  (563)   (390)
Net Cash Used In Operating Activities   (260)   (2,794)
     
Cash Flows From Investing Activities    
Acquisitions of property and equipment  (4,203)   (3,683)
Acquisition of a business  (1,170)    --
Other   (3)   (3)
Net Cash Used In Investing Activities  (5,376)   (3,686)
     
Cash Flows From Financing Activities    
Repayment of capital leases  --  (23)
Repayment of short-term debt  --  (30)
Net Cash Used In Financing Activities  --  (53)
     
Net Decrease In Cash and Cash Equivalents  (5,636)   (6,533)
Cash and Cash Equivalents — Beginning  14,041  24,740
Cash and Cash Equivalents — Ending $ 8,405 $  18,207
 
Market data for the three months ended September 30, 2010
(All dollars are in thousands)
             
Market
Revenues
Cost of
Revenues(1)
Gross
Margin(1)
Operating
Costs
Adjusted Market
EBITDA
New York  $1,436 $281 $1,155 80% $271 $884
Boston  1,130 174 956 85% 167 789
Los Angeles  840 158 682 81% 294 388
Chicago 749 227 522 70% 181 341
San Francisco  285 61 224 79% 92 132
Miami 243 84 159 65% 81 78
Providence/Newport 121 39 82 68% 23 59
Seattle 125 54 71 57% 32 39
Nashville 18 8 10 56% 4 6
Dallas-Fort Worth 128 87 41 32% 59 (18)
Philadelphia 5 13 (8) 0% 40 (48)
Total $5,080 $1,186 $3,894 77% $1,244 $2,650
             
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measure to GAAP Financial Measure
             
Adjusted market EBITDA           $2,650
Centralized costs (1)           (744)
Corporate expenses           (1,538)
Depreciation and amortization           (1,557)
Stock-based compensation           (220)
Other income (expense)           22
Net loss           ($1,387)
             
             
Market data for the three months ended September 30, 2009 
             
Market
Revenues
Cost of
Revenues(1)
Gross
Margin(1)
Operating
Costs
Adjusted Market
EBITDA 
New York  $1,306 $257 $1,049 80% $327 $722
Boston  996 157 839 84% 184 655
Los Angeles  497 87 410 82% 269 141
San Francisco  253 51 202 80% 109 93
Chicago  254 91 163 64% 114 49
Providence/Newport 127 38 89 70% 44 45
Seattle 112 54 58 52% 43 15
Miami 151 66 85 56% 92 (7)
Dallas-Fort Worth 87 63 24 28% 98 (74)
Total $3,783 $864 $2,919 77% $1,280 $1,639
             
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measure to GAAP Financial Measure
             
Adjusted market EBITDA           $1,639
Centralized costs (1)           (711)
Corporate expenses           (1,476)
Depreciation           (1,036)
Stock-based compensation           (189)
Other income (expense)           (365)
Net loss           ($2,138)
             
(1) Certain expenses are reported as Cost of Revenues for financial statement purposes but are included in Centralized costs
in the Market Data table because they are not specific to any market. These costs totaled $65 and $67 respectively for the
three months ended September 30, 2010 and 2009. 
             
Market data for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 
(All dollars are in thousands)
             
Market
Revenues
Cost of
Revenues(2)
Gross
Margin(2)
Operating
Costs
Adjusted Market
EBITDA
New York  $4,289 $838 $3,451 80% $914 $2,537
Boston  3,266 520 2,746 84% 505 2,241
Los Angeles  2,269 428 1,841 81% 841 1,000
Chicago 1,691 542 1,149 68% 431 718
San Francisco  830 178 652 79% 239 413
Miami 697 238 459 66% 257 202
Providence/Newport 374 122 252 67% 85 167
Seattle 378 164 214 57% 94 120
Nashville 40 22 18 45% 12 6
Dallas-Fort Worth 352 252 100 28% 174 (74)
Philadelphia 7 41 (34) 0% 146 (180)
Total $14,193 $3,345 $10,848 76% $3,698 $7,150
             
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measure to GAAP Financial Measure
             
Adjusted market EBITDA           $7,150
Centralized costs (2)           (2,210)
Corporate expenses           (4,796)
Depreciation and amortization           (4,112)
Stock-based compensation           (678)
Other income (expense)           421
Net loss           ($4,225)
             
Market data for the nine months ended September 30, 2009 
             
Market
Revenues
Cost of
Revenues(2)
Gross
Margin(2)
Operating
Costs
Adjusted Market
EBITDA 
New York  $3,865 $682 $3,183 82% $953 $2,230
Boston  2,965 493 2,472 83% 582 1,890
Los Angeles  1,345 236 1,109 82% 778 331
San Francisco  712 151 561 79% 337 224
Providence/Newport 394 112 282 72% 158 124
Chicago  677 260 417 62% 357 60
Miami 411 192 219 53% 309 (90)
Seattle 315 179 136 43% 230 (94)
Dallas-Fort Worth 189 177 12 6% 342 (330)
Total $10,873 $2,482 $8,391 77% $4,046 $4,345
             
Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measure to GAAP Financial Measure
             
Adjusted market EBITDA           $4,345
Centralized costs (2)           (2,063)
Corporate expenses           (4,607)
Depreciation           (2,965)
Stock-based compensation           (576)
Other income (expense)           (787)
Net loss           ($6,653)
             
(2) Certain expenses are reported as Cost of Revenues for financial statement purposes but are included in Centralized costs
in the Market Data table because they are not specific to any market. These costs totaled $188 and $190 respectively for the
nine months ended September 30, 2010 and 2009.

Conference Call and Webcast

A conference call led by President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Thompson, and Chief Financial Officer, Joseph Hernon, will be held on November 4, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. ET to review our financial results and provide an update on current business developments.

Interested parties may participate in the conference by dialing 877-755-7423 or 678-894-3069 (for international callers).  A telephonic replay of the conference may be accessed approximately two hours after the call through November 11, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. ET by dialing 800-642-1687 or 706-645-9291 (for international callers) using pass code 14733390.

The call will also be webcast and can be accessed in a listen-only mode on the Company's website at http://ir.towerstream.com/eventdetail.cfm?eventid=86611.

About Towerstream Corporation

Towerstream is a leading 4G service provider in the U.S., delivering high-speed wireless Internet access to businesses. Founded in 2000, the Company has established networks in 11 markets including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, Miami, Seattle, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, Nashville and the greater Providence area where the Company is based. For more information, visit our website at www.towerstream.com or follow us on Twitter @Towerstream. The Towerstream Corporation logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6570.

Towerstream's wireless broadband solution network delivers high-speed Internet access supporting VoIP, bandwidth on demand, wireless redundancy, VPNs, disaster recovery, bundled data, and video services, and can be delivered in days. Unlike cable Internet and DSL, Towerstream connections are symmetrical, which means that the upload and download speeds are identical. This creates a more stable connection, suitable for VoIP and web hosting, as well as many other business applications. Companies utilizing multiple appliances simultaneously, such as streaming video and VoIP, can prioritize their bandwidth to secure mission-critical activities. All of Towerstream's products are backed by its Service Level Agreement (SLA) and the ability to be up and running within a week. 

Safe Harbor

Certain statements contained in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable federal securities laws, including, without limitation, anything relating or referring to future financial results and plans for future business development activities, and are thus prospective. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified based on current expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Consequently, future events and actual results could differ materially from those set forth in, contemplated by, or underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT:  Vision Advisors

          Investor Contact:

          Terry McGovern

          415-902-3001

          mcgovern@visionadvisors.net



          ICR Inc.

          Investor Contact:

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          646-277-1230

          Seth.Potter@icrinc.com



          LaunchSquad Public Relations

          Media Contact:

          Matt Calderone

          212-564-3665

          towerstream@launchsquad.com

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