Globalstar, the Covington satellite telephone services provider, reported third-quarter earnings of $24.1 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, compared with a $129.4 million gain, or 13 cents per share, the year before.
The company blamed the year-to-year drop in earnings on the strong dollar, which impacts foreign revenues, and certain agreements where Globalstar debt holders can convert the amount into equity in the business.
The company’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, were $4.5 million for the quarter, compared with $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2014. The change was due to an increase in operating expenses, caused by the company’s attempt to move into more international markets and a write-off for $1 million in bad debt from a single reseller.
Company officials have said EBITDA is the measuring stick satellite phone companies use because they are severely affected by depreciation of their equipment.
Globalstar said revenue for the quarter was $23.7 million, compared with $23.4 million in the third quarter of 2014. At the same time, the number of total subscribers to Globalstar’s phone service rose by 11 percent to nearly 687,000.
“Although growth in foreign revenue has been negatively impacted by the strong dollar, we continue to add a significant number of subscribers to the network,” said Jay Monroe, chairman and chief executive officer of Globalstar.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of 3 cents per share for the third quarter.
Globalstar stock was down 1 cent a share to $1.98 Thursday, a 0.5 percent decrease.
Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter @TCB_TheAdvocate