CARLSBAD, Calif., March 20, 2019, — NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE American: NTN), reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018.
“Our business momentum delivered another strong quarter, including positive net income, and closed 2018 with the company’s best bottom line annual performance in 24 years,” said Ram Krishnan, NTN Buzztime CEO. “In 2018, we grew revenue 10%, driven by increased equipment sales while increasing cash from operations by approximately 150%. These improvements reflect the impact of our revenue diversification strategy and continued progress in all facets of the business.
“More importantly, we continue to invest for future growth by advancing our entertainment platform and bringing new offerings to the market. During 2018, we introduced our hardware platform appealing to new markets and attracting new customers. We have made progress with our SiteHub – the dramatically smaller form factor management system that improves functionality, eliminates wires and lowers costs – and are planning live beta sites in 2019. Our ‘Trivia for Cash’ promotions increased player engagement and boosted business at our partner locations. So, we are rolling out additional campaigns to continue with this progress. In the first quarter of 2019, we joined a new ad exchange, which broadens advertising buyer access to our inventory in multiple marketplaces. Additionally, we are in the process of launching our mobile app, which increases convenience for players and engagement for venues on- and off-premise.
“With these efforts to expand our product offering and revenue channels, we are confident in our ability to bring new sustainable growth to the company. While we continue to explore and evaluate strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value, our priority is building scalable distribution along with innovative products,” concluded Krishnan.
Financial Results for the Fourth Quarter Ended December 31, 2018
Total revenues were $5.9 million, up 11.8% from $5.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, due to increases in hardware revenue offset by lower subscription revenue. Direct costs were $2.1 million and gross margin was 65%, compared to $1.7 million and 67% for the same period in 2017, reflecting the product mix shift. Selling, general and administrative expense decreased to $3.4 million, or 57% of revenue, down from $4.0 million, or 75% of revenue, in the prior year quarter, reflecting cost management measures. During the fourth quarter of 2018, the company incurred a goodwill impairment loss of $261,000 related to its Canadian business and did not in the comparable period. Net income attributable to common shareholders was $44,000, or $0.02 per diluted share, improved from a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $647,000, or $0.31 per share, in the prior year quarter. EBITDA was $732,000 for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to $117,000 in the prior year quarter.
EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and is not intended to represent a measure of performance in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP). Although EBITDA is positive this quarter, it may not be positive in future quarters. A detailed description and reconciliation of EBITDA and management’s reasons for using this measure is set forth at the end of this press release.
Metric Review for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2018
The site count was 2,639 at December 31, 2018, compared to 2,666 at September 30, 2018. Management anticipates that net site count will continue to fluctuate. The tablet platform installations remained flat at 84% of the installed base, when compared to the install base as of September 30, 2018.
Cash and cash equivalents were $2.5 million at December 31, 2018, compared to $3.4 million at December 31, 2017. 2018 cash flow from operations reached $1.4 million, increasing $800,000 from $549,000 in 2017. Total deferred revenue was $1.4 million, down from $3.6 million at December 31, 2017. Working capital was $2.8 million at December 31, 2018, improving $3.9 million from negative $1.1 million at December 31, 2017.
Financial Results for the Full Year Ended December 31, 2018
Total revenues were $23.3 million, up 9.7% from $21.3 million in 2017, reflecting increases in professional development, advertising and hardware revenue. Net loss attributable to common shareholders for 2018 was $275,000, or $0.10 per share, improved from a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $1.1 million, or $0.45 per share for 2017. EBITDA was $2.8 million for 2018, compared to $1.8 million for 2017.
Management will review the results on a conference call with a live question and answer session today, March 20, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. ET. To access the call, please use passcode 9359779 and dial:
- (877) 307-1373 for the live call and (855) 859-2056 for the replay, if calling from the United States or Canada; or
- (678) 224-7873 for the live call and (404) 537-3406 for the replay, if calling internationally.
The call will also be accompanied live by webcast that will be accessible at the company’s website at https://www.buzztime.com. The replay of the call will be available until March 27, 2019.
This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current views of future events and operations, including statements regarding management’s expectations regarding future sustainable growth, new offerings, market expansion, strategic opportunities, the ability of the company’s new lighter offerings to enhance the value and attractiveness of the company’s offerings, and the company’s ability to scale and to create shareholder value. These risks and uncertainties include the risks of unsuccessful execution or launch of products, platforms or brands, risks associated with customer retention and growth plans, the impact of alternative entertainment options and technologies and competitive products, brands, technologies and pricing, adverse economic conditions, the regulatory environment and changes in the law, failure of customer and/or player acceptance or demand for new or existing products, lower market acceptance of both existing and new offerings by particular demographic groups or audiences as a whole, termination of partnership and contractual relationships and technical problems or outages. Please see NTN Buzztime, Inc.’s recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks that may affect the Company. All forward-looking statements included in this release are based on information available to us on the date hereof. These statements speak only as of the date hereof and NTN Buzztime, Inc. does not undertake to publicly update or revise any of its forward-looking statements, even if experience or future changes show that the indicated results or events will not be realized, except as required by law.
Buzztime (NYSE American: NTN) delivers interactive entertainment and innovative technology, including performance analytics and secure payment with Europay, MasterCard® and Visa® (EMV) chip card readers or with near-field communication (NFC) technology to accept Apple, Android and Samsung Pay. Most frequently used in bars and restaurants in North America, the Buzztime tablets and technology offer engaging solutions to establishments that have guests who experience dwell time, such as casinos, senior living and more. Casual dining venues license Buzztime’s customizable solution to differentiate themselves via competitive fun by offering guests trivia, card, sports and arcade games, customized menus and self-service dining features. Buzztime’s platform improves operating efficiencies, creates connections among the players and venues, and amplifies guests’ positive experiences. The Buzztime platform has also been recently resold and the content licensed for other businesses serving other markets. For more information, please visit https://www.buzztime.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @buzztime.
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