Clearwire's Q4 2011 Results: 900,000 Net Adds, Solid Growth

Clearwire's had a rough, wild ride so far, but things may be turning around for the fledgling wireless company. This week, the 4G broadband company reported selected preliminary financial and operating results for fourth quarter 2011. Record quarterly revenues of approximately $362 million are estimated for fourth quarter 2011, representing a more than doubling of revenues from the prior year's fourth quarter. Retail revenues are estimated to be approximately $198 million and wholesale revenues are estimated to be approximately $164 million for the period, representing 1% and 20% sequential growth, respectively, over third quarter 2011 retail and wholesale revenues.

Fourth quarter 2011 net wholesale subscriber additions are expected to total approximately 900,000, resulting in approximately 9.1 million ending wholesale subscribers, or 11% growth over third quarter 2011 ending wholesale subscribers. Combined with approximately 1.3 million retail subscribers at the end of the year, the company expects total subscribers at December 31, 2011 to be approximately 10.4 million, representing approximately 140% year over year growth. These results reflect 2.9% wholesale churn and 3.9% retail churn in fourth quarter 2011.

Fourth quarter 2011 aggregate usage by wholesale customers increased approximately 22% compared to third quarter 2011, driven primarily by growth in aggregate smartphone usage, which increased approximately 30% over the same period. Total 4G network usage by wholesale and retail customers increased 165% during 2011.

As a result of the growth of its subscriber base and increased network traffic, in conjunction with reductions in cash operating expenses, the Company estimates that fourth quarter 2011 Adjusted EBITDA is positive and improved more than 140% sequentially as compared to the Adjusted EBITDA loss reported in third quarter 2011.

Of course, the company is trying hard to highlight the positives -- which are very real indeed -- but they're still relying heavily on Sprint to keep things on the move. Once Sprint flips over to LTE, Clearwire might just turn the corner and start finding these nice profits in a regular basis. Mobile use isn't slowing down anytime soon, so at least that's comforting.
Tags:  Mobile, LTE, Clearwire