Globalstar, a Covington satellite phone company, posted a first-quarter net loss, but its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $3.8 million, a 54 percent increase over the first quarter 2013 EBITDA of $2.5 million.
Revenue in the first quarter topped $20.5 million, up 6 percent from the same period a year ago.
Globalstar also said separately Wednesday it hit a milestone with its SPOT LLC products being used in 3,000 confirmed rescues worldwide.
The service launched in 2007 provides satellite-based connections and real-time GPS tracking, meaning responders can track down people in distress in virtually all of North America, Europe and Australia and portions of South America, northern Africa, northeastern Asia and thousands of miles offshore those areas.
Officials said in the company’s earning report that EBITDA is the measuring stick satellite phone companies use because they are severely affected by depreciation of their equipment.
The net loss was $250.5 million for the quarter, up from the $25.1 million loss it had in the first quarter of 2013.
The increase was driven almost entirely by non-cash items, such as the extinguishment of debt, higher interest and depreciation expenses.
“Globalstar continues to make progress on its operational and regulatory fronts,” said Jay Monroe, Globalstar chairman and CEO. Monroe noted Globalstar saw a 21 percent increase in revenue from its Duplex service, which provides two-way data and voice service from practically anywhere on Earth.
Globalstar has more than 200,000 SPOT units in service. The 3,000th rescue recently occurred in the Hayman Fire area of central Colorado. Two dirt bikers were outside of cell range when an accident occurred. One of the riders activated the SOS button on his SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger. The GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center was alerted and coordinated the rescue with local law enforcement.
“Lifesaving rescues around the globe are now a daily occurrence for our SPOT products. SPOT is an absolute must for the outdoor recreation market and aviation, as well as an essential government and enterprise solution,” Monroe said.
Shares of Globalstar were down 1 cent to $2.93 in Wednesday’s trading.