Charlotte, NC, March 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE), Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (NYSE American: BTN) (the “Company” or “Ballantyne Strong”) today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2020.
Recent Financial and Operational Highlights
- Strong Entertainment business levels rebounded in the second half of 2020 as entertainment operators began reopening worldwide
- Signed multi-year exclusive agreements with Cinemark and Marcus Theatres further expanding market share
- Company is well positioned for post-pandemic recovery as restrictions on entertainment venues subside
- Completed sale of Strong Outdoor
- Resulted in $5.3 million gain
- Increased stake in Firefly Systems, Inc. to $13.1 million
- Bolstered balance sheet with sale of Convergent subsequent to close of 2020
- Will result in realized gain of approximately $15 million
- Strengthened balance sheet, increasing cash position and reducing debt
“Ballantyne Strong’s performance highlights in 2020 included: the successful navigation of the uncertainties associated with the impact of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry; the streamlining of the Company’s overhead structure; completion of two M&A transactions, and the strengthening of the balance sheet which has positioned the Company for future growth and market share gains,” commented Mark Roberson, Chief Executive Officer.
“Strong Entertainment bounced back in the second half of 2020, and we expect revenue to accelerate post-pandemic as cinemas and theme parks more fully reopen and the studios begin to release an unprecedented backlog of blockbuster movies. Notably, over the course of the year, Strong Entertainment entered into new partnerships with leading cinema operators, including Marcus Theatres and Cinemark, enhancing our leading position in the industry.”
“Our investment portfolio performed well in the second half of 2020, largely related to GreenFirst’s launch of its Canadian timber strategy and FG Financial kicking off its reinsurance and capital allocation strategies. With the sale of Strong Outdoor, we increased our stake in Firefly to $13 million and are now one of their largest shareholders alongside Google Ventures and NFX.”
“Following the close of the year, we completed the sale of Convergent, which has materially increased our cash position and reduced our liabilities, strengthening our balance sheet. As we embark on 2021, Ballantyne Strong is well positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities within our Strong Entertainment business and to benefit from our investment strategies.”
Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Review – (comparison of continuing operations to prior year quarter)
Revenue decreased 43.6% to $6.0 million from $10.6 million. The decrease was primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 on customer demand for screen products and technical services at Strong Entertainment. Revenues at Strong Entertainment increased sequentially from the second and third quarters of 2020 but remain below historical levels due to the continued impact of COVID-19 restrictions on cinema attendance and the timing of studio releases. The Company expects industry revenues, and our business levels to strengthen as restrictions ease and studios begin releasing the current backlog of content to the exhibitors during 2021.
- Gross profit decreased 38.5% to $2.2 million from $3.6 million for the quarter and gross profit margins increased to 37.3% as compared to 34.2%. Cost reduction initiatives partially offset the reduction in revenue due to COVID-19.
- Net loss from continuing operations was $3.5 million, or $0.23 per basic and diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to $1.8 million, or $0.12 per basic and diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2019.
- Adjusted EBITDA was negative $0.3 million compared to positive $1.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Lower revenue from Strong Entertainment due to COVID-19 offset the positive benefits of management’s cost reduction initiatives.
Full Year 2020 Financial Review – (comparison of continuing operations to prior year)
- Revenue decreased 42.3% to $21.5 million from $37.3 million. The decrease was primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 on Strong Entertainment as detailed above. Revenues at Strong Entertainment began to recover in the second half of 2020 as cinemas and theme parks began reopening, but remained below historical levels due to the aforementioned continued impact of COVID-19 restrictions. Ballantyne Strong expects industry revenues, and the Company’s business levels, to strengthen as restrictions ease and studios begin releasing the current backlog of content to exhibitors during 2021.
- Gross profit decreased 56.6% to $5.4 million from $12.5 million for the year and gross profit margins decreased to 25.2% as compared to 33.4%. Cost reduction initiatives partially offset the reduction in revenue due to COVID-19, particularly in the second quarter of 2020 when most of the Company’s customers were required to temporarily curtail their operations in response to government stay-at-home orders.
- Net loss from continuing operations was $8.3 million or $0.56 per basic and diluted share during 2020 compared to $8.7 million, or $0.60 per basic and diluted share during 2019.
- Adjusted EBITDA was negative $4.4 million during 2020 compared positive $0.1 million in the prior year. Lower revenue from Strong Entertainment due to COVID-19 offset the positive benefits of management’s cost reduction initiatives. The majority of the unfavorable annual Adjusted EBITDA performance occurred during the second quarter of 2020 when the Company’s customers were required to temporarily curtail their operations in response to government stay at home orders.
A conference call to discuss the 2020 fourth-quarter and full year financial results will be held on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 5:00 pm 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: 13717107. Please dial in at least five minutes before the start of the call to register. A replay will be available approximately three hours after the conclusion of the conference call until Saturday, April 10, 2021 by dialing (844) 512-2921 in the U.S. and Canada and (412) 317-6671 internationally and entering the conference ID number: 13717107.
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 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 discontinued operations, share-based compensation, impairment charges, equity method income (loss), fair value adjustments, severance, foreign currency transaction gains (losses), transactional gains and expenses, gains on insurance recoveries 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 our 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 our financial results.
EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to net income (loss) or to net cash from 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 our performance.
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 10, 2021, available online at www.sec.gov.
About Ballantyne Strong, Inc.
Ballantyne Strong, Inc. (www.ballantynestrong.com) is is a diversified holding company with operations and investments across a broad range of industries. The Company’s Strong Entertainment segment includes the largest premium screen supplier in the U.S. and also provides technical support services and other related products and services to the cinema exhibition industry, theme parks and other entertainment-related markets. Ballantyne Strong holds a $13 million preferred investment along with Google Ventures in privately held Firefly Systems, Inc., which is rolling out a digital mobile advertising network on rideshare and taxi fleets. Finally, the Company holds a 30% ownership position in GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. (TSX: GFP) which has recently completed an investment in a sawmill and related assets and a 21% ownership position in FG Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: FGF) which is implementing business plans to operate as a diversified insurance, reinsurance and investment management holding company.
Except for the historical information in this press release, it includes forward-looking statements, 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, 2019, Part II, Item 1A of the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended September 30, 2020 and the Company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the following risks and uncertainties: the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has already had, and may continue to have, on the Company’s business and financial condition; the Company’s ability to maintain and expand its revenue streams to compensate for the lower demand for the Company’s digital cinema products and installation services; 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 or achieve the returns it expects from these investments; the Company’s ability to maintain its brand and reputation and retain or replace its significant customers; challenges associated with the Company’s long sales cycles; the impact of a challenging global economic environment or a downturn in the markets (such as the current economic disruption and market volatility generated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic); 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 impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the companies in which the Company holds investments; 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 COVID-19 pandemic); the adequacy of insurance; the impact of having a controlling stockholder and vulnerability to fluctuation in the Company’s stock price. 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. Many of the risks listed above have been, and may further be, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, its impact on the cinema and entertainment industry, and the worsening economic environment. 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 the Company’s 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, withdraw or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or changes in factors or assumptions affecting such forward-looking statements.
Ballantyne Strong Contact
Ballantyne Strong, Inc.
Chief Executive Officer
Investor Relations Contact
John Nesbett / Jennifer Belodeau
IMS Investor Relations