Financial News

Tucows Reports Financial Results for Fourth Quarter 2020

TORONTO, Feb. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Tucows Inc. (NASDAQ:TCX, TSX:TC), a provider of network access, domain names and other Internet services, today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2020. All figures are in U.S. dollars.

COVID-19:   Tucows shareholders and prospective investors are encouraged to read Tucows’ public statement regarding COVID-19, which is available here: https://bit.ly/2LavpOc.

Note on the Financial Impact of Tucows’ Sale of Ting Mobile Customer Relationships and Transition to Mobile Services Enabler Platform:

As previously announced, effective August 1, 2020 most of Tucows’ mobile customers relationships were sold to DISH Networks (“DISH”) as part of Tucows’ transition of its mobile business to a Mobile Services Enabler (MSE) model from a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) model, under which DISH became Tucows’s first MSE customer. Accordingly, the results of the Mobile Services business in the Network Access segment for the fourth quarter of 2020 reflects operations under the new MSE model with prior periods being composed entirely of operations under Tucows’ previous MVNO model.

Under the terms of the earn out arrangement for the Ting customer base acquired by DISH, the income generated by the customer base acquired by Dish are recognized (net of expenses) as “Other Income” under the heading “Gain on Sale of Ting Customer Assets”. As a result, revenue and gross margin for Mobile Services in the Network Access segment for the fourth quarter of 2020 are lower than those for the fourth quarter of 2019. Tucows will recognize fees per subscriber for customers owned by DISH under the Ting brand as well as customers under DISH’s Boost brand that are added to Tucows’ MSE platform, as Mobile Platform Services revenue under the terms of the MSE Agreement signed with Dish. For more information, see Tucows’ Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis for the fourth quarter of 2020.


Summary Financial Results
(In Thousands of US Dollars, Except Per Share Data)

 
3 Months ended December 31


12 Months ended December 31

2020
(Unaudited)
2019
(Unaudited)1
% Change2020
(Unaudited)
2019
(Unaudited)
% Change
Net revenue70,78485,946(17.6%)311,202337,145(7.7%)
Gross Profit17,42826,045(33.1%)85,485100,777(15.2%)
Gain on Sale of Ting Customer Assets16,522-n/a7,612-n/a
Net income2,0685,778(64.2%)5,77515,398(62.5%)
Basic Net earnings per common share0.190.55(65.5%)0.551.45(62.1%)
Adjusted EBITDA212,84716,155(20.5%)50,97251,905(1.8%)
Net cash provided by operating activities1,63713,196(87.6%)36,08140,381(10.6%)

1.   Gain on Sale of Ting Customer Assets for 2020 includes proceeds of $11.1 million under the DISH earn-out arrangement, offset by the disposal of Ting Customer Assets totalling $3.5 million.
2.   This Non-GAAP financial measure is described below and reconciled to GAAP net income in the accompanying table.


Summary of Revenues and Gross profit
(In Thousands of US Dollars)

 RevenueGross Profit
 
3 Months ended December 31

3 Months ended December 31

 2020
(Unaudited)
2019
(Unaudited)
2020
(Unaudited)
2019
(Unaudited)
Network Access Services:
Mobile Services    
Retail Mobile Services1,80621,140821 9,445 
Mobile Platform Services188-132 - 
Other Professional Services1,959-256 - 
Total Mobile Services3,95321,1401,209 9,445 
     
Fiber Internet Services5,0493,0293,130 2,062 
Total Network Access Services9,00224,1694,339 11,507 
Domain Services:
Wholesale    
Domain Services47,46346,62210,310 9,085 
Value Added Services5,3734,8094,483 4,128 
Total Wholesale52,83651,43114,793 13,213 
     
Retail8,6548,6484,382 4,682 
Portfolio32921,698177 1,526 
Total Domain Services61,78261,77719,352 19,421 
Network Expenses:
Network, other costsn/an/a(2,681)(2,156)
Network, depreciation and amortization costsn/an/a(3,582)(2,727)
Total Network expensesn/an/a(6,263)(4,883)
     
Total70,78485,94617,428 26,045 

3. Beginning in the first quarter of 2020, portfolio revenue consisted of individual sales from Tucows’ surname portfolio following the sale of the Company’s remaining domain name portfolio in the fourth quarter of 2019.

“The fourth quarter was a solid finish to a very good year for Tucows,” said Elliot Noss, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tucows Inc. “Revenue and gross margin from our Domains and Ting Internet businesses, excluding the impact of large bulk domains sales from our Domains Portfolio in prior year periods, increased 6% and 13% year over year, respectively, for the fourth quarter, and for all of 2020 were up 5% and 13%.”

“Our Domains business continued to benefit from the elevated but decelerating transaction levels, resulting from the pandemic impact, which on top of the underlying consistency of this business and our focus on the quality of our customer base, resulted in the highest annual gross profit for this business in our 21-year history.”

“In Mobile, the fourth quarter -- our first full quarter under our new MSE model -- is off to a good start, setting the stage as we look forward to increasing that revenue in the future as DISH adds customers under the Ting Mobile brand and we migrate DISH’s Boost customers to the MSE platform.”

“And In our Ting Internet business, we achieved our second consecutive quarter of capital expenditures above $10 million -- just shy of our third quarter record -- and by far our best quarter ever for new serviceable addresses. The quarter capped off a year in which we grew serviceable addresses by 53% year-over-year, total subscribers by 51%, contributing to year-over-year growth in revenue and gross margin of 67% and 52%, respectively. All of this sets us up very well for continued growth in all of these key metrics as we accelerate our capital expenditure spending in 2021.”

Financial Results
  
Net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $70.8 million, a decrease of 18% from $85.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. The majority of the decrease was the result of the absence of Ting Mobile MVNO revenue in the fourth quarter of 2020 following the Company’s sale of its Ting Mobile customer relationships to DISH and the related earn out being recognized as Other Income. The decrease was also due in part to a $1.5 million bulk sale in the Domains Portfolio business in the fourth quarter of 2019 that was not repeated in the fourth quarter of 2020 as the Company exited its Domains Portfolio business at the end of 2019. Excluding the Mobile Services business, as well as the impact of the bulk Domains sale in the third quarter of 2019, net revenue for the combined Domains and Ting Internet businesses for the fourth quarter of 2020 increased 6% from the fourth quarter of 2019.

Gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $17.4 million, a decrease of 33% from $26.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. The decrease in gross profit is attributable to the same factors as the decrease in revenue. Excluding the Mobile Services business, as well as the impact of the bulk Domains sale in the fourth quarter of 2019, gross margin for the combined Domains and Ting Internet businesses for the fourth quarter of 2020 increased 13% from the fourth quarter of 2019.

Net income for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $2.1 million, or $0.19 per share, a decrease of 64% from $5.8 million, or $0.55 per share for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Adjusted EBITDA1 for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $12.8 million, a decrease of 20% compared with $16.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2019. Excluding the impact of an outsized Portfolio bulk domain name sale in the fourth quarter of 2019, Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2020 decreased 12% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020 were $8.3 million compared with $10.2 million at the end of the third quarter of 2020 and $20.4 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2019.

Notes:

1. Adjusted EBITDA

Tucows reports all financial information required in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Along with this information, to assist financial statement users in an assessment of our historical performance, the Company typically discloses and discusses a non-GAAP financial measure, adjusted EBITDA, in press releases and on investor conference calls and related events that exclude certain non-cash and other charges as the Company believes that the non-GAAP information enhances investors' overall understanding of our financial performance.

The Company believes that the provision of this supplemental non-GAAP measure allows investors to evaluate the operational and financial performance of the Company’s core business using similar evaluation measures to those used by management. The Company uses adjusted EBITDA to measure its performance and prepare its budgets. Since adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial performance measure, the Company’s calculation of adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to other similarly titled measures of other companies; and should not be considered in isolation, as a substitute for, or superior to measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with GAAP. Because adjusted EBITDA is calculated before recurring cash charges, including interest expense and taxes, and is not adjusted for capital expenditures or other recurring cash requirements of the business, it should not be considered as a liquidity measure. Non-GAAP financial measures do not reflect a comprehensive system of accounting and may differ from non-GAAP financial measures with the same or similar captions that are used by other companies and/or analysts and may differ from period to period. The Company endeavors to compensate for these limitations by providing the relevant disclosure of the items excluded in the calculation of adjusted EBITDA to net income based on U.S. GAAP, which should be considered when evaluating the Company's results. Tucows strongly encourages investors to review its financial information in its entirety and not to rely on a single financial measure.

The Company’s adjusted EBITDA definition excludes depreciation, amortization of intangible assets, income tax provision, interest expense (net), accretion of contingent consideration, stock-based compensation, disposal of Ting Mobile customer assets, gains and losses from unrealized foreign currency transactions and infrequently occurring items, including acquisition and transition costs. Gains and losses from unrealized foreign currency transactions removes the unrealized effect of the change in the mark-to-market values on outstanding unhedged foreign currency contracts, as well as the unrealized effect from the translation of monetary accounts denominated in non-U.S. dollars to U.S. dollars.

The following table reconciles net income to adjusted EBITDA (dollars in thousands):

 
3 months ended December 31


12 months ended December 31
 2020
(Unaudited)
2019
(Unaudited)
2020
(Unaudited)
2019
(Unaudited)
Net income for the period 2,068 5,778 5,775 15,398 
Depreciation of property and equipment3,377 2,516 12,632 8,961 
Impairment of property and equipment- - 1,638 - 
Loss (gain) on disposition of property and equipment(17)- (17)73 
Amortization of intangible assets2,644 2,870 11,420 10,333 
Impairment of definite life intangible assets- - 1,431 - 
Disposal of Ting Mobile customer assets- - 3,513 - 
Interest expense, net855 1,220 3,611 4,769 
Accretion of contingent consideration86 - 344 - 
Provision for income taxes2,595 2,964 4,985 9,173 
Stock-based compensation1,054 836 3,718 2,876 
Unrealized loss (gain) on change in fair value of forward contracts(237)(109)(500)(313)
Unrealized loss (gain) on foreign exchange revaluation of foreign denominated monetary assets and liabilities(19)(180)461 (581)
Acquisition and transition costs*441 260 1,961 1,216 
     
Adjusted EBITDA12,847 16,155 50,972 51,905 
*Acquisition and other costs represent transaction-related expenses, transitional expenses, such as redundant post-acquisition expenses, primarily related to our acquisition of Ascio in March 2019 and Cedar in January 2020 and disposition of certain Ting Mobile assets in August 2020. Expenses include severance or transitional costs associated with department, operational or overall company restructuring efforts, including geographic alignments.

Conference Call

Concurrent with the dissemination of its quarterly financial results news release at 5:05 pm ET on Tuesday, February 9, management’s pre-recorded audio commentary (and transcript) discussing the quarter and outlook for the Company, will be posted to the Tucows website at http://www.tucows.com/investors/financials. In lieu of a live question and answer period, for the subsequent seven days, until Wednesday, February 17, shareholders, analysts and prospective investors can submit questions to Tucows’ management at ir@tucows.com. Management will post responses to questions of general interest (audio recording and transcript) to the Company’s website at http://www.tucows.com/investors/financials/ on Tuesday, February 23 at approximately 4 pm ET. All questions will receive a response, however, questions of a more specific nature may be responded to directly.

About Tucows

Tucows is a provider of network access, mobile technology services, domain names and other Internet services. Ting Internet (https://ting.com/internet) delivers fixed fiber Internet access with outstanding customer support. Tucows’ mobile services enabler (MSE) platform provides network access, provisioning and billing services for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). OpenSRS (https://opensrs.com), Enom (https://www.enom.com) and Ascio (https://ascio.com) combined manage approximately 25 million domain names and millions of value-added services through a global reseller network of over 36,000 web hosts and ISPs. Hover (https://hover.com) makes it easy for individuals and small businesses to manage their domain names and email addresses. More information can be found on Tucows’ corporate website (https://tucows.com).

      
      
Tucows Inc. 
Consolidated Balance Sheets 
(Dollar amounts in thousands of U.S. dollars) 
      
  December 31, December 31, 
  2020 2019 
  (unaudited) (unaudited) 
      
Assets     
      
Current assets:     
Cash and cash equivalents $8,311 $20,393 
Accounts receivable  15,540  14,564 
Inventory  1,875  3,457 
Prepaid expenses and deposits  16,845  13,478 
Derivative instrument asset, current portion  3,860  731 
Deferred costs of fulfillment, current portion  93,467  91,252 
Income taxes recoverable  1,302  1,800 
Total current assets  141,200  145,675 
      
Deferred costs of fulfillment, long-term portion  17,599  17,915 
Property and equipment  117,530  82,121 
Right of use operating lease asset  11,238  11,335 
Contract costs  362  1,400 
Deferred tax asset  226  - 
Intangible assets  47,444  57,654 
Goodwill  116,304  109,818 
Total assets $451,903 $425,918 
      
      
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity     
      
Current liabilities:     
Accounts payable $6,329 $6,671 
Accrued liabilities  10,235  9,373 
Customer deposits  15,402  14,074 
Derivative instrument liability, current portion  99  - 
Operating lease liability, current portion  1,761  1,413 
Deferred revenue, current portion  127,336  123,101 
Accreditation fees payable, current portion  940  952 
Income taxes payable  863  1,324 
Total current liabilities  162,965  156,908 
      
Derivative instrument liability, long-term portion  114  - 
Deferred revenue, long-term portion  24,909  26,202 
Accreditation fees payable, long-term portion  195  216 
Operating lease liability, long-term portion  9,179  9,424 
Loan payable, long-term portion  121,733  113,503 
Other long-term liability  3,416  - 
Deferred tax liability  24,694  25,471 
      
Stockholders' equity:     
Preferred stock - no par value, 1,250,000 shares authorized; none issued and outstanding  -  - 
Common stock - no par value, 250,000,000 shares authorized; 10,612,414 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and 10,585,159 shares issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2019  20,798  16,633 
Additional paid-in capital  1,458  880 
Retained earnings  80,106  76,208 
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)  2,336  473 
Total stockholders' equity  104,698  94,194 
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $451,903 $425,918 
      


         
  Tucows Inc.
  Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Income
  (Dollar amounts in thousands of U.S. dollars)
         
         
  Three months ended December 31, Year ended December 31,
  2020 2019 2020 2019
     
  (unaudited)
 (unaudited)
         
Net revenues$70,784 $85,946 $311,202 $337,145 
         
Cost of revenues:        
Cost of revenues 47,093  55,018  200,401  217,579 
Network expenses (*) 2,681  2,156  10,194  9,190 
Depreciation of property and equipment 3,252  2,405  12,144  8,475 
Amortization of intangible assets 330  322  1,340  1,124 
Impairment of property and equipment -  -  1,638  - 
Total cost of revenues 53,356  59,901  225,717  236,368 
         
Gross profit 17,428  26,045  85,485  100,777 
         
Expenses:        
Sales and marketing (*) 7,753  7,904  34,274  34,270 
Technical operations and development (*) 3,447  1,566  12,427  9,717 
General and administrative (*) 5,194  4,062  20,268  17,880 
Depreciation of property and equipment 125  111  488  486 
Loss (gain) on disposition of property and equipment (17) -  (17) 73 
Amortization of intangible assets 2,314  2,548  10,080  9,209 
Impairment of definite life intangible assets -  -  1,431  - 
Loss (gain) on currency forward contracts (284) (108) (383) (198)
Total expenses 18,532  16,083  78,568  71,437 
         
Income from operations (1,104) 9,962  6,917  29,340 
         
Other income (expenses):        
Interest expense, net (855) (1,220) (3,611) (4,769)
Gain on sale of Ting Customer Assets, net 6,522  -  7,612  - 
Other income (expense), net 100  -  (158) - 
Total other income (expenses) 5,767  (1,220) 3,843  (4,769)
         
Income before provision for income taxes 4,663  8,742  10,760  24,571 
         
Provision for income taxes 2,595  2,964  4,985  9,173 
Net income for the period 2,068  5,778  5,775  15,398 
         
Other comprehensive income, net of tax        
Unrealized income on hedging activities 1,044  487  1,653  1,101 
Net amount reclassified to earnings (79) 15  210  182 
Other comprehensive income net of tax expense of $288 and $161 for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, $550 and $411 for the years ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019 

965
  

502
  

1,863
  

1,283
 
         
Comprehensive income, net of tax for the period$3,033 $6,280 $7,638 $16,681 
         
Basic earnings per common share$0.19 $0.55 $0.55 $1.45 
         
Shares used in computing basic earnings per common share 10,605,451  10,577,080  10,590,684  10,623,799 
         
Diluted earnings per common share$0.19 $0.54 $0.54 $1.43 
         
Shares used in computing diluted earnings per common share 10,745,710  10,693,430  10,692,281  10,772,812 
         
         
         
(*) Stock-based compensation has been included in expenses as follows:        
Network expenses$139 $82 $472 $307 
Sales and marketing$475 $395 $1,678 $1,251 
Technical operations and development$198 $168 $756 $596 
General and administrative$242 $191 $812 $722 
         


   
  Tucows Inc.
  Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
  (Dollar amounts in thousands of U.S. dollars)
         
  Three months ended December 31, Year ended December 31,
  2020 2019 2020 2019
     
Cash provided by: (unaudited)
 (unaudited)
Operating activities:        
Net income for the period$2,068 $5,778 $5,775 $15,398 
Items not involving cash:        
Depreciation of property and equipment 3,377  2,516  12,632  8,961 
Impairment of property and equipment -  -  1,638  142 
Amortization of debt discount and issuance costs 67  65  269  297 
Amortization of intangible assets 2,644  2,870  11,420  10,333 
Net amortization contract costs (3) (2) 106  (10)
Accretion of contingent consideration 86  -  344  - 
Impairment of definite life intangible asset -  -  1,431  - 
Other -  -  223  - 
Deferred income taxes (recovery) (3,012) (456) (3,939) 1,285 
Excess tax benefits on share-based compensation expense (353) 156  (861) (634)
Net Right of use operating assets/Operating lease liability (44) (27) 205  (32)
Loss on disposal of domain names 2  43  17  115 
Loss (gain) on change in the fair value of forward contracts (237) (109) (500) (313)
Disposal of Ting Mobile customer assets -  -  3,513  - 
Stock-based compensation 1,054  836  3,718  2,876 
Change in non-cash operating working capital:        
Accounts receivable (2,951) (1,095) (281) (3,015)
Inventory (736) 446  945  318 
Prepaid expenses and deposits (3,142) 6,147  (3,459) 2,904 
Deferred costs of fulfillment 2,174  3,924  (1,899) 7,678 
Income taxes recoverable 2,589  1,210  908  (89)
Accounts payable (1,661) 1,556  (902) (1,222)
Accrued liabilities 710  (4,945) 376  2,329 
Customer deposits 1,030  (846) 1,493  27 
Deferred revenue (1,985) (4,838) 2,942  (6,900)
Accreditation fees payable (40) (33) (33) (67)
Net cash provided by operating activities 1,637  13,196  36,081  40,381 
         
Financing activities:        
Proceeds received on exercise of stock options 307  83  985  395 
Payment of tax obligations resulting from net exercise of stock options (77) (4) (556) (548)
Repurchase of common stock -  -  (3,281) (4,986)
Proceeds received on loan payable 8,000  12,000  8,000  57,371 
Repayment of loan payable -  (3,530) -  (8,130)
Payment of loan payable costs -  (2) (32) (641)
Net cash provided by financing activities 8,230  8,547  5,116  43,461 
         
Investing activities:        
Additions to property and equipment (11,708) (12,913) (44,437) (44,070)
Acquisition of Cedar Networks (net of cash of $66 and net of shares issued of $2,000) -  -  (8,770) - 
Acquisition of Ascio Technologies Inc. (net of cash of $1) -  (426) -  (28,450)
Acquisition of intangible assets (3) -  (72) (3,566)
Net cash used in investing activities (11,711) (13,339) (53,279) (76,086)
         
(Decrease) increase in cash and cash equivalents (1,844) 8,404  (12,082) 7,756 
         
Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period 10,155  11,989  20,393  12,637 
Cash and cash equivalents, end of period$8,311 $20,393 $8,311 $20,393 
         
Supplemental cash flow information:        
Interest paid$813 $1,224 $3,573 $4,785 
Income taxes paid, net$3,477 $1,818 $8,926 $7,941 
         
Supplementary disclosure of non-cash investing and financing activities:        
Property and equipment acquired during the period not yet paid for$1,129 $548 $1,129 $548 
Fair value of shares issued for acquisition of Cedar Holdings Group$- $- $2,000 $- 
Fair value of contingent consideration for acquisition of Cedar Holdings Group$- $- $3,072 $- 
         


         
Reconciliation of Net income to Adjusted EBITDA        
(In Thousands of U.S. Dollars)  Three months ended December 31, Year ended December 31,
(unaudited)  2020 (unaudited) 2019 (unaudited) 2020 (unaudited) 2019 (unaudited)
          
Net income for the period$2,068 $5,778 $5,775 $15,398 
Depreciation of property and equipment 3,377  2,516  12,632  8,961 
Impairment of property and equipment -  -  1,638  - 
Loss (gain) on disposition of property and equipment (17) -  (17) 73 
Amortization of intangible assets 2,644  2,870  11,420  10,333 
Impairment of definite life intangible assets -  -  1,431  - 
Disposal of Ting Mobile customer assets -  -  3,513  - 
Interest expense, net 855  1,220  3,611  4,769 
Accretion of contingent consideration 86  -  344  - 
Provision for income taxes 2,595  2,964  4,985  9,173 
Stock-based compensation 1,054  836  3,718  2,876 
Unrealized loss (gain) on change in fair value of forward contracts (237) (109) (500) (313)
Unrealized loss (gain) on foreign exchange revaluation of foreign denominated monetary assets and liabilities (19) (180) 461  (581)
Acquisition and other costs1 441  260  1,961  1,216 
         
Adjusted EBITDA$12,847 $16,155 $50,972 $51,905 
         
1Acquisition and other costs represents transaction-related expenses, transitional expenses, such as redundant post-acquisition expenses, primarily related to our acquisition of Ascio in March 2019 and Cedar in January 2020 and disposition of certain Ting Mobile assets in August 2020. Expenses include severance or transitional costs associated with department, operational or overall company restructuring efforts, including geographic alignments.
         

This release includes forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding our expectations regarding our future financial results and, including, without limitation, our expectations regarding our ability to realize synergies from the Enom acquisition and our expectation for growth of Ting Internet. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Information about other potential factors that could affect Tucows’ business, results of operations and financial condition is included in the Risk Factors sections of Tucows’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty. All forward-looking statements are based on information available to Tucows as of the date they are made. Tucows assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.

Tucows, Ting, OpenSRS, Enom, Ascio and Hover are registered trademarks of Tucows Inc. or its subsidiaries.

Contact:
Lawrence Chamberlain
(416) 519-4196 | lawrence.chamberlain@loderockadvisors.com


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