Charlotte, NC – March 12, 2020 – Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE American: BTN) (the “Company”) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2019. The Company conducts its operations through three operating segments: Strong Entertainment, Convergent and Strong Outdoor.
Financial and Operational Highlights
- Significant improvements in consolidated gross profit, income from operations, Adjusted EBITDA and cash flow from operations.
- Convergent’s Digital Signage as a Service (DSaaS) recurring revenue model continues to expand, driving increased gross margin and operating performance.
- Strong Entertainment’s operating results improved significantly in the second half of 2019 as compared with the first half as facility construction in Quebec was completed and customer orders increased.
- Strong Outdoor turned profitable in the fourth quarter. The transaction with Firefly Systems, Inc. (“Firefly”) and related $4.8 million investment provide additional long-term upside potential.
Kyle Cerminara, Chairman and CEO, commented, “During 2019, we were focused on driving improved operating performance from each of our business units. We repositioned Convergent’s operating model to focus on expanding our Digital Signage as a Service platform, we restructured Strong Outdoor’s cost model and expanded our sales team resulting in its first profitable quarter, and we completed the plant expansion in Quebec following the weather-related damage in early 2019. We also completed a transaction with Firefly wherein we received a preferred equity stake, which we believe offers significant upside potential. Firefly continues to rapidly expand its digital advertising business and we are excited to participate in its anticipated success going forward.”
Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Review
- Consolidated operating results improved from prior year periods. Convergent continued to generate improved gross margins and overall profitability following our repositioning of the business to a higher margin recurring revenue business model. Strong Outdoor’s operating results improved with higher ad revenues and the positive impact of the transaction with Firefly. Strong Entertainment strengthened sequentially from the first half of 2019 as business activity returned to normal following weather-related production disruptions at our Quebec manufacturing facility.
- Total revenue decreased 6.0% to $17.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and decreased 3.3% to $62.6 million for the full year 2019. Services revenue grew 9.3% during full year 2019 with the transition to a higher mix of recurring services revenue. Product sales revenue decreased 14.4% during full year 2019, primarily due to lower screen system sales associated with the temporary production disruptions at our Quebec manufacturing plant in the first half of 2019 and lower international volume. In addition, the prior year periods included revenue from one-time audio and product sale and installations that did not recur in 2019.
- Gross profit increased 50.4% to $6.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 and increased 51.7% to $18.5 million for the full year 2019. Gross profit margins improved to 39.6% for the fourth quarter of 2019 from 24.7% in for the fourth quarter of 2018 and improved to 29.5% for the full year 2019 from 18.8% during the full year 2018. The improvement was a direct result of repositioning Convergent to a high margin recurring revenue model combined with cost reduction initiatives and improvements in Strong Outdoor’s operating cost structure.
- Operating income improved to $0.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 from $0.1 million in the prior year and improved to an operating loss of $4.0 million for the full year 2019 from a loss of $10.3 million in the prior year. Improved operating performance at Convergent and Strong Outdoor were partially offset by the lower revenue and related contribution from Strong Entertainment.
- Net loss was $0.7 million ($0.05 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2019 as compared to $0.6 million ($0.04 per share) in the prior year. Net loss was $10.1 million ($0.70 per share) for the full year 2019 compared to $12.3 million ($0.86 per share) in the prior year. Improved operating results were partially offset by higher non-cash fair value adjustments and increased equity method investment losses in the current year.
- Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP measure, improved to $2.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to $1.1 million in the prior year. On a full year basis, Adjusted EBITDA improved by $5.4 million to positive $1.4 million for full year 2019 compared to a loss of $4.0 million in the prior year.
A conference call to discuss the fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial results will be held on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 8:30 am Eastern Time. Investors and analysts are invited to access the conference call by dialing 877-407-3982 (domestic) or 201-493-6780 (international) and providing the operator with conference ID number: 13699717. Please dial in at least five minutes before the start of the call to register. A replay will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the conference call until Sunday, April 12, 2020 by dialing 844-512-2921 in the U.S. and Canada and 412-317-6671 internationally and entering the conference ID number: 13699717.
The Company’s financial results and an accompanying slide presentation will also be available on the Investor Relations page of the Company’s website at ballantynestrong.com/investors.
Use of Non-GAAP Measures
Ballantyne Strong, Inc. prepares its consolidated financial statements in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). In addition to disclosing financial results prepared in accordance with GAAP, the Company discloses information regarding Adjusted EBITDA, which differs from the term EBITDA as it is commonly used. In addition to adjusting net income (loss) to exclude income taxes, interest, and depreciation and amortization, Adjusted EBITDA also excludes share-based compensation, impairment charges, equity method income (loss), fair value adjustments, severance, foreign currency transaction gains (losses), transactional expenses and other cash and non-cash charges and gains.
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measures of performance defined in accordance with GAAP. However, Adjusted EBITDA is used internally in planning and evaluating the Company’s operating performance. Accordingly, management believes that disclosure of these metrics offers investors, bankers and other stakeholders an additional view of the Company’s operations that, when coupled with the GAAP results, provides a more complete understanding of the Company’s financial results.
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to net loss or to net cash used in operating activities as measures of operating results or liquidity. Our calculation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies, and the measures exclude financial information that some may consider important in evaluating the Company’s performance. A reconciliation of GAAP net loss to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA is included in the accompanying financial schedules.
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA have limitations as analytical tools, and you should not consider them in isolation, or as substitutes for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are (i) they do not reflect our cash expenditures, or future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments, (ii) they do not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs, (iii) EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments, on our debt, (iv) although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, and EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements, (v) they do not adjust for all non-cash income or expense items that are reflected in our statements of cash flows, (vi) they do not reflect the impact of earnings or charges resulting from matters we consider not to be indicative of our ongoing operations, and (vii) other companies in our industry may calculate these measures differently than we do, limiting their usefulness as comparative measures.
We believe EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA facilitate operating performance comparisons from period to period by isolating the effects of some items that vary from period to period without any correlation to core operating performance or that vary widely among similar companies. These potential differences may be caused by variations in capital structures (affecting interest expense), tax positions (such as the impact on periods or companies of changes in effective tax rates or net operating losses) and the age and book depreciation of facilities and equipment (affecting relative depreciation expense). We also present EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA because (i) we believe these measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties to evaluate companies in our industry, (ii) we believe investors will find these measures useful in assessing our ability to service or incur indebtedness, and (iii) we use EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA internally as benchmarks to evaluate our operating performance or compare our performance to that of our competitors.
For further information, please refer to Ballantyne Strong, Inc.’s Annual Report on Form 10-K to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on or about March 12, 2020, available online at www.sec.gov.
About Ballantyne Strong, Inc.
Ballantyne Strong (www.ballantynestrong.com) and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including the design, integration and installation of technology solutions for a broad range of applications; development and delivery of out-of-home messaging, advertising and communications; manufacturing of projection screens; and providing managed services including monitoring of networked equipment. The Company focuses on serving the cinema, retail, financial, advertising and government markets.
Except for the historical information in this press release, it includes forward-looking statements which involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those discussed in the “Risk Factors” section contained in Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company’s subsequent filings with the SEC, and the following risks and uncertainties: the Company’s ability to expand its revenue streams, potential interruptions of supplier relationships or higher prices charged by suppliers, the Company’s ability to successfully compete and introduce enhancements and new features that achieve market acceptance and that keep pace with technological developments, the Company’s ability to successfully execute its capital allocation strategy, the Company’s ability to maintain its brand and reputation and retain or replace its significant customers, the impact of a challenging global economic environment or a downturn in the markets, economic and political risks of selling products in foreign countries (including tariffs), risks of non-compliance with U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, potential sales tax collections and claims for uncollected amounts, cybersecurity risks and risks of damage and interruptions of information technology systems, the Company’s ability to retain key members of management and successfully integrate new executives, the Company’s ability to complete acquisitions, strategic investments, entry into new lines of business, divestitures, mergers or other transactions on acceptable terms or at all, the Company’s ability to utilize or assert its intellectual property rights, the impact of natural disasters and other catastrophic events (such as the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak emanating from China), the adequacy of insurance and the impact of having a controlling stockholder. Given the risks and uncertainties, readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement and should recognize that the statements are predictions of future results which may not occur as anticipated. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements and from historical results, due to the risks and uncertainties described herein, as well as others not now anticipated. New risk factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all such risk factors, nor can it assess the impact of all such factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Except where required by law, the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in factors or assumptions affecting such forward-looking statements.
Ballantyne Strong, Inc.
Chief Financial Officer