Investor Relations

Ascent Capital Group Announces Financial Results For The Three And Nine Months Ended September 30, 2013

by Moni Blogger | Nov 14, 2013

Englewood, CO – November 12, 2013 – Ascent Capital Group Inc. (“Ascent” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: ASCMA) has reported results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013. Ascent is a holding company that owns Monitronics International, Inc. (“Monitronics”) one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing home security alarm monitoring companies.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Monitronics provides security alarm monitoring services to more than 1,000,000 residential and commercial customers. Monitronics’ long-term monitoring contracts provide high margin recurring revenue that results in predictable and stable cash flow.

Highlights[1]:

  • Ascent’s net revenue for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 increased 36.8% and 27.4%, respectively, driven by growth in the number of subscriber accounts and the related increase in monthly recurring revenue
  • Ascent’s Adjusted EBITDA[2] for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 increased 35.2% and 29.4%, respectively
  • Monitronics successfully completed the acquisition of Security Networks
  • Monitronics Adjusted EBITDA for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 increased 35.2% and 27.1%
  • Monitronics subscriber accounts as of September 30, 2013 increased 45.2% year-over-year to 1,041,740 reflecting organic growth and the acquisition of over 200,000 subscriber accounts in the Security Networks acquisition
  • Average RMR per subscriber[3] as of September 30, 2013 increased 6.3% to $40.70

Ascent Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bill Fitzgerald stated, “I am very pleased with the Company’s performance and execution in the third quarter, highlighted by the successful completion of the acquisition of Security Networks, the integration of which is proceeding as planned.  The Company also delivered solid financial performance with revenue and Adjusted EBITDA each up over 35%, a testament to the continued strength of the Monitronics business model. Looking ahead, we remain committed to identifying accretive acquisition opportunities, making certain that we continue to put shareholder capital to work in an effective and productive manner.”

Mike Haislip, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monitronics said, “Monitronics delivered another solid quarter with strong growth in revenue, Adjusted EBITDA, and total subscribers. We remain excited about the Security Networks acquisition and the opportunities ahead. We are working diligently to effectively integrate the two businesses, and remain focused on ensuring a smooth transition for both our dealers and our customers. I am extremely pleased with our efforts to date and believe the combined company will be well positioned for growth in the future.”

Three and Nine Months Ended September 30, 2013 Results

Ascent Capital Group, Inc.

For the three months ended September 30, 2013, Ascent reported net revenue of $115.8 million, an increase of 36.8% compared to $84.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012. For the nine months ended September 30, 2013 net revenue increased 27.4% to $318.3 million. The increase in net revenue for the three and nine month time periods is primarily attributable to the growth in the number of Monitronics’ subscriber accounts and the increase in average RMR per subscriber.

Ascent’s total cost of services for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 increased 56.5% and 44.2% to $20.2 million and $51.0 million, respectively. The increase for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 is primarily due to an increased number of accounts monitored across the cellular network and in those having interactive and home automation services, which result in higher operating and service costs. Also contributing to the increase was the inclusion of Security Networks monitoring costs of $2.7 million for both the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013.

Selling, general & administrative (“SG&A”) costs for the three months ended September 30, 2013 increased 30.8% to $23.9 million, and increased 20.4% to $65.1 million for the first nine months of 2013. The increase is primarily attributable to increases in Monitronics SG&A costs as well as the inclusion of Security Networks SG&A costs of $2.1 million. The increase in Monitronics SG&A costs are attributable to increased payroll expenses of approximately $581,000 and $2.2 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, and acquisition and integration costs related to professional services and other costs incurred in connection with the Security Networks acquisition.  Acquisition costs recognized in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 were $1.0 million and $2.5 million. Integration costs recognized in both the three and nine months ended were $535,000. Additionally, Ascent’s consolidated stock-based compensation expense increased approximately $387,000 and $1.6 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, related to restricted stock and stock option awards granted to certain executives and directors of Ascent in 2012.

For the three months ended September 30, 2013, Ascent’s Adjusted EBITDA increased 35.2% to $75.7 million. During the first nine months of 2013, Ascent’s Adjusted EBITDA increased 29.4% to $218.2 million. The increases in Adjusted EBITDA for both periods was primarily due to revenue and subscriber growth at Monitronics, partially offset by higher operating and service costs.

Ascent reported a net loss from continuing operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 of $12.5 million and $10.0 million, compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $13.7 million and $24.4 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012.

Monitronics International, Inc.

For the three months ended September 30, 2013, Monitronics reported net revenue of $115.8 million, an increase of 36.8% compared to $84.7 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012. For the nine months ended September 30, 2013 net revenue increased 27.4% to $318.3 million. The increase in net revenue for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 is attributable to the growth in the number of subscriber accounts and the increase in average RMR per subscriber.  The growth in subscriber accounts reflects the effects of the acquisition of Security Networks, which included over 200,000 subscriber accounts, purchases of over 120,000 accounts through Monitronics’ authorized dealer program subsequent to September 30, 2012, and the purchase of approximately 111,000 accounts in various bulk buys over the last 12 months.  In addition, average RMR per subscriber increased from $38.28 as of September 30, 2012 to $40.70 as of September 30, 2013.  Partially offsetting the increase in net revenue for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 is the negative impact of a $2.5 million fair value adjustment that reduced deferred revenue acquired in the Security Networks acquisition.

Monitronics’ total cost of services for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 increased 56.5% and 44.2% to $20.2 million and $51.0 million. The increase for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 is primarily due to an increased number of accounts monitored across the cellular network and in those having interactive and home automation services, which result in higher operating and service costs. Also contributing to the increase was the inclusion of $2.7 million in Security Networks monitoring costs.

Monitronics’ SG&A costs for the three months ended September 30, 2013 increased 35.3% to $20.0 million and 23.4% to $54.0 million for the first nine months of 2013. The increased Monitronics SG&A costs are attributable to increased payroll expenses of approximately $581,000 and $2.2 million for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, and acquisition and integration costs related to professional services and other costs incurred in connection with the Security Networks acquisition. Acquisition costs recognized in the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 were $1.0 million and $2.5 million. Integration costs recognized in the three and nine months ended are $535,000.

Monitronics’ Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended September 30, 2013 was $77.6 million, an increase of 35.2% versus the three months ended September 30, 2012. For the nine months ended September 30, 2013, Monitronics’ Adjusted EBITDA increased 27.1% to $217.5 million. The increase in Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter is primarily due to revenue and subscriber growth at Monitronics driven by the acquisition of Security Networks, purchases through Monitronics’ authorized dealer program and acquisitions of various bulk buys over the last twelve months. Monitronics’ Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue was 67.0% in the quarter ended September 30, 2013, compared to 67.8% for the three months ended September 30, 2012. Monitronics’ Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 totaled 68.3%, compared to 68.5% for the year-ago period.

Monitronics reported net losses from continuing operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 of $9.3 million and $7.4 million, respectively.

The table below presents subscriber data for the twelve months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012:

Twelve Months Ended
September 30,

2013

2012

Beginning balance of accounts ......................................................

717,488

697,581

Accounts purchased ......................................................................

437,860

106,582

Accounts canceled.........................................................................

(106,859

)

(84,523

)

Canceled accounts guaranteed by dealer and acquisition adjustment (a) (b)..........................................................................................

(6,749

)

(2,152

)

Ending balance of accounts ..........................................................

1,041,740

717,488

Monthly weighted average accounts ..............................................

847,673

706,752

Attrition rate ..................................................................................

(12.6

)%

(12.0

)%


(a)   Canceled accounts that are contractually guaranteed to be refunded from holdback.

(b)   Includes 1,946 subscriber accounts that were proactively cancelled during the third quarter of 2013 which were active with both Monitronics and Security Networks, upon acquisition.

Monitronics acquired 203,898 accounts in the Security Networks acquisition, which was completed on August 16, 2013.  Excluding the Security Networks acquisition, during the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, Monitronics purchased 37,109 and 113,302 accounts, respectively.  Account purchases for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 reflect bulk buys of approximately 18,200 accounts purchased in the second quarter of 2013. 

Monitronics’ trailing twelve month attrition for the period ending September 30, 2013 increased to 12.6% compared to 12.0% for the twelve months ended September 30, 2012.

Ascent Liquidity and Capital Resources

At September 30, 2013, on a consolidated basis, Ascent had $80.9 million of cash and cash equivalents, $2.7 million of restricted cash, and $145.9 million of marketable securities on a consolidated basis. The company may use a portion of these assets to decrease debt obligations, fund stock repurchases, or fund potential strategic acquisitions or investment opportunities.

During the nine months ended September 30, 2013, Monitronics used cash of $174.5 million to fund purchases of subscriber accounts net of holdback and guarantee obligations.

At September 30, 2013, the existing long-term debt principal of $1.6 billion includes Ascent’s Convertible Notes and Monitronics’ Senior Notes, Credit Facility, and Credit Facility revolver. The Convertible Notes have an outstanding principal balance of $103.5 million as of September 30, 2013 and mature July 15, 2020. Monitronics’ Senior Notes have an outstanding principal balance of $580.0 million as of September 30, 2013, which includes the impact of eliminating $5.0 million in aggregate principal amount of the Senior Notes that were purchased by Ascent in the third quarter of 2013, and mature on April 1, 2020. The Credit Facility term loan has an outstanding principal balance of $909.8 million as of September 30, 2013 and requires principal payments of approximately $2.3 million per quarter with the remaining outstanding balance becoming due on March 23, 2018.  The Credit Facility revolver has an outstanding balance of $25.6 million as of September 30, 2013 and becomes due on December 22, 2017.

On October 25, 2013, Ascent purchased 351,734 shares of its Series B common stock (the “Purchased Shares”) from Dr. John Malone, for aggregate cash consideration of approximately $32.7 million. Following the transaction, Dr. Malone continues to beneficially own 351,734 Ascent Series B shares and 199,789 Ascent Series A shares, which together represent approximately 21% of the Company’s outstanding voting power. The Purchased Shares will be cancelled and returned to the status of authorized and unissued.

Conference Call

Ascent will host a conference call today at 5:00 p.m. ET on November 12, 2013. To access the call please dial (888) 462-5915 from the United States, or (760) 666-3831 from outside the U.S. The conference call I.D. number is 86061660. Participants should dial in 5 to 10 minutes before the scheduled time and must be on a touch-tone telephone to ask questions.

A replay of the call can be accessed through November 19, 2013 by dialing (800) 585-8367 from the U.S., or (404) 537-3406 from outside the U.S. The conference call I.D. number is 86061660.

This call will also be available as a live webcast which can be accessed at Ascent’s Investor Relations Website at http://www.ascentcapitalgroupinc.com/Investor-Relations.aspx.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release includes certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements about business strategies, acquisition opportunities, market potential, consumer demand for interactive and home automation services, the integration of acquired assets and businesses (including the consolidated performance of Monitronics after giving effect to the ongoing integration of Security Networks), future financial prospects and other matters that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements involve many risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including, without limitation, possible changes in market acceptance of our services, technological innovations in the alarm monitoring industry, competitive issues, Monitronics’ ability to realize synergies associated with the acquisition of Security Networks, Monitronics’ ability to successfully complete the integration of Security Networks, continued access to capital on terms acceptable to Ascent, our ability to capitalize on acquisition opportunities, general market and economic conditions, and changes in law and government regulations. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Ascent expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in Ascent’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Please refer to the publicly filed documents of Ascent, including the most recent Form 10-K and 10-Q, for additional information about Ascent and about the risks and uncertainties related to Ascent’s business which may affect the statements made in this press release.

About Ascent Capital Group, Inc.

Ascent is a holding company that owns 100 percent of its operating subsidiary, Monitronics International Inc. and certain former subsidiaries of Ascent Media Group, LLC.  Monitronics, headquartered in Dallas, TX is one of the nation's largest, fastest-growing home security alarm monitoring companies.

###

            Contact:

            Erica Bartsch

            Sloane & Company

            212-446-1875

            ebartsch@sloanepr.com

   




[1] Comparisons are year-over-year unless otherwise specified.

[2] For a definition of Adjusted EBITDA and applicable reconciliations, see the Appendix to this release. Ascent’s net loss for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 totaled $12.6 million and $9.7 million, respectively.

[3] Calculated as the average monthly revenue per subscriber.

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