CARLSBAD, Calif., March 17, 2020, — NTN Buzztime, Inc. (NYSE American: NTN), reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2019.
Allen Wolff, CEO, said, “During the fourth quarter, we gained traction with Buzztime Basic, our lighter mobile-based, in-venue solution that complements our full featured Buzztime Elite offering, and we shipped the first installment of a substantial hardware contract. Our programmatic advertising continues to grow and augment our subscription revenue. We are proud 2019 closed with these significant operational accomplishments and our fourth consecutive year of positive EBITDA.”
“In January 2020, we seized the opportunity to monetize a non-core business and sold our hosted-events asset. We will continue to explore all types of go-to-market partnerships and to prioritize our most compelling opportunities to leverage our foundation for scalable growth. The economic and market conditions throughout the United States and the world have been dynamic and evolving as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its effect on the restaurant and bar industry has been rapid, and its scope and magnitude is uncertain. We will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate steps we can take to respond to its effects. In 2020, we will remain focused on growing our digital entertainment and hardware businesses in an efficient manner and are evaluating financing alternatives to better position us to do so.”
Fourth quarter 2019 total revenues were $5.2 million, compared to $4.6 million in the third quarter of 2019 and $5.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. The fourth quarter 2019 recorded increased hardware revenue compared to prior periods. Revenue for 2019 was $19.8 million, compared to $23.3 million in 2018. As anticipated, 2019 results reflected lower subscription and advertising revenue due to reduced site count, which, taking into account the fourth quarter departure of Buffalo Wild Wings venues, was 1,440 at December 31, 2019.
During the fourth quarter of 2019, Buzztime received from Buffalo Wild Wings a substantial number of tablets with Buzztime’s new technology for only the cost of shipping, enabling the company to write off its older tablets. Fourth quarter 2019 direct costs were $2.9 million, compared to $2.1 million for the same period in 2018. Fourth quarter 2019 gross margin was 43%, compared to 65% for the same period in 2018. The increase in direct costs and the decrease in gross margin were both primarily attributable to higher equipment expense related to increased hardware sales and a $676,000 write-down associated with older tablets and related cases. Full year 2019 gross margin was 62%, compared to 65% for 2018. Although revenue mix will continue to result in margin fluctuations, the company continues to seek to optimize gross margin and anticipates it will be higher in future quarters than the fourth quarter of 2019.
Selling, general and administrative expense was $2.9 million and $13.2 million for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2019, decreasing from $3.4 million and $14.5 million for the same periods in 2018, respectively. The reduction reflects management’s efforts to lower operating expenses.
For the fourth quarter 2019, net loss attributable to common shareholders was $1.3 million, or $0.45 per share, compared to a net income attributable to common shareholders of $44,000, or $0.02 per share, in the prior year quarter. Net loss attributable to common shareholders was $2.1 million, or $0.72 per share, compared to $275,000, or $0.10 per share, for 2019 and 2018, respectively.
For the fourth quarter 2019, the company had negative EBITDA of $557,000, compared to positive EBITDA of $732,000 in the prior year quarter. For the year, EBITDA was $1.1 million in 2019, compared to $2.8 million in 2018.
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 was positive for the full year, it may not be positive in future years. 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.
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash was $3.4 million at December 31, 2019, compared to $2.8 million at December 31, 2018. For 2019, cash flow from operations was $2.7 million, increasing from $1.4 million in 2018.
will review the results on a conference call with a live question and answer
March 17, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. ET. To access the call, please use passcode 8114999 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 http://www.buzztime.com/investors. The replay of the call will be available until March 24, 2020
This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current views of future events and operations, including that we will continue to explore all types of go-to-market partnerships and to prioritize our most compelling opportunities to leverage our foundation for scalable growth, that we will continue to monitor the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate steps we can take to response thereto, that we will remain focused on growing our digital entertainment and hardware businesses in an efficient manner, and that we anticipate gross margin will be higher in future quarters than the fourth quarter of 2019. Among the factors that could cause or contribute to material differences between our actual results and the expectations indicated by the forward-looking statements are risks and uncertainties that include, but are not limited to: our ability to raise additional capital, on favorable terms or at all, to allow us to meet our debt service obligations and to fund our working capital needs and the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the capital markets generally; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business, the restaurant and bar industry generally and the broader macroeconomic environment; our ability to maintain or grow our revenue and successfully implement our other business strategies to make up for the revenue we have historically received from Buffalo Wild Wings corporate-owned restaurants and its franchisees after our existing relationships with them terminated in November 2019; the negative impact that measures we recently implemented and may implement to reduce our operating expenses and planned capital expenses (including investments in our business) may have on our ability to effectively manage and operate our business; our ability to comply with our financial covenants in our loan and security agreement with Avidbank and its right to declare a default if we do not, which could lead to all payment obligations becoming immediately due and payable; our ability to compete effectively within the highly competitive interactive games, entertainment and marketing services industries, including our ability to successfully commercially launch attractive product offerings, and the impact of new products and technological change, especially in the mobile and wireless markets, on our operations and competitiveness; our ability to adequately protect our proprietary rights and intellectual property;; and the other risks and uncertainties described in Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors” of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and described in other documents we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission thereafter. 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.
Buzztime (NYSE American: NTN) delivers interactive entertainment and innovative technology that helps its customers acquire, engage and retain its patrons. Most frequently used in bars and restaurants in North America, the Buzztime tablets, mobile app 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. Buzztime’s platform creates connections among the players and venues and amplifies guests’ positive experiences. Buzztime’s in-venue TV network creates one of the largest digital out of home ad audiences in the US and Canada. Buzztime hardware solutions leverages the company’s experience manufacturing durable tablets and charging systems, enabling a diverse group of businesses including corrections, point-of-sale and loyalty with product implementation. Buzztime games have also been recently licensed by other businesses serving other markets. For more information, please visit http://www.buzztime.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter@buzztime.
IR AGENCY CONTACT: Kirsten Chapman, LHA Investor Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org 415-433-3777