InterDigital Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results

New Wireless, Consumer Electronics Deals in Fourth Quarter Drive 6% Year-over-year Growth in Recurring Revenue

Company Release - 2/20/2020 8:30 AM ET

WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC), a mobile and video technology research and development company, today announced results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2019.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Financial Highlights

  • Fourth quarter 2019 total revenue was $102.2 million, compared to $75.3 million in fourth quarter 2018.  Fourth quarter 2019 recurring revenue was $77.5 million, compared to $73.7 million in fourth quarter 2018. This increase was driven by new agreements signed in fourth quarter 2019.  Additionally, fourth quarter 2019 included $24.7 million of past sales, which was primarily attributable to new deals signed in the quarter.
  • Fourth quarter 2019 operating expenses were $76.9 million, compared to $71.5 million in fourth quarter 2018.  The increase was primarily driven by $7.0 million in intellectual property enforcement and non-patent litigation costs.  The additional costs associated with our May 2019 acquisition of Technicolor's R&I division were mostly offset in fourth quarter 2019 by cost savings initiatives.
  • Fourth quarter 2019 net income1 was $13.8 million, or $0.44 per diluted share compared to net income1 of $2.1 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in fourth quarter 2018.
  • In fourth quarter 2019, the company recorded $17.5 million of cash provided by operating activities, compared to $29.8 million of cash used in operating activities in fourth quarter 2018.  The company generated $8.7 million of free cash flow2 in fourth quarter 2019, compared to free cash flow used of $38.7 million in fourth quarter 2018.  The increase was primarily driven by timing of collections under fixed-fee agreements. Ending cash and short-term investments totaled $924.7 million.
  • From October 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, the company repurchased 0.4 million shares of common stock under its stock repurchase program for a total cost of approximately $25.0 million.  $71.8 million remains available for repurchase subsequent to the increase to the buyback authorization in May 2019.

“In fourth quarter we signed new wireless licenses agreements with key players like Google and ZTE, providing solid revenue growth for our core business and also serving as additional validation of our rate structure highlighted in our transparency effort launched in first quarter 2020,” said William J. Merritt, President and CEO of InterDigital.  “In the same quarter, we also signed a new license on the consumer electronics side.  That success, combined with ongoing licensing discussions with other consumer electronics customers, allowed us to target the annual licensing potential of our new consumer electronics business at $150 million in 3 to 5 years.  With the combined revenue opportunity of our wireless and consumer electronics licensing platforms reaching $650 million, our focus as we enter 2020 is firmly on driving revenue growth while maintaining the operating leverage of the business by meeting our expense targets.”

Full Year 2019 Financial Highlights

  • Full year 2019 recurring revenue was $298.2 million, compared to $280.3 million for full year 2018. This increase was attributable to new licensing agreements and engineering services agreements signed during the year.
  • Full year 2019 operating expenses were $281.1 million, compared to $244.8 million in 2018, an increase of $36.3 million.  Of this increase, $29.1 million resulted from the company's Technicolor acquisitions, including a $9.8 million increase in patent amortization and a $6.3 million increase in revenue sharing costs.  The remaining $7.2 million increase in operating expenses was almost entirely driven by increased intellectual property enforcement and non-patent litigation costs.
  • Net income1 was $20.9 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, compared to $65.0 million, or $1.84 per diluted share, in full year 2018.
  • In full year 2019, the company recorded $89.4 million of cash provided by operating activities, compared to $146.8 million provided by operating activities for full year 2018.  The company generated $51.4 million of free cash flow2 in full year 2019, compared to $112.1 million for full year 2018.  The decrease in cash provided by operating activities was primarily driven by the timing of cash collections under fixed fee agreements, as well as higher cash operating expenses driven by the Technicolor acquisitions.

Near-Term Outlook

The company expects total first quarter 2020 revenue to be between $73 million and $75 million, comprised almost entirely of recurring revenue.

This revenue guidance does not include the potential impact of any new patent license, technology solutions or patent sale agreements that may be signed, or any arbitration or dispute resolutions that may occur, during the balance of first quarter 2020.

Conference Call Information

InterDigital will host a conference call on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss its fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial performance and other company matters. For a live Internet webcast of the conference call, visit and click on the link to the live webcast on the Investors page. The company encourages participants to take advantage of the Internet option.

For telephone access to the conference, call +1 (800) 353-6461 within the United States or +1 (334) 323-0501 from outside the United States. Please call by 9:50 a.m. ET on February 20th and give the operator conference ID number 6761771.

An Internet replay of the conference call will be available on InterDigital's website in the Investors section. In addition, a telephone replay will be available from 1:00 p.m. ETFebruary 20th through 1:00 p.m. ETFebruary 25th. To access the recorded replay, call +1 (888) 203-1112 or +1 (719) 457-0820 and use the replay code 6761771.

About InterDigital®

InterDigital develops mobile and video technologies that are at the core of devices, networks, and services worldwide. We solve many of the industry's most critical and complex technical challenges, inventing solutions for more efficient broadband networks, better video delivery, and richer multimedia experiences years ahead of market deployment. InterDigital has licenses and strategic relationships with many of the world's leading technology companies. Founded in 1972, InterDigital is listed on NASDAQ and is included in the S&P MidCap 400® index.

InterDigital is a registered trademark of InterDigital, Inc.

For more information, visit the InterDigital website:

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.  Such statements include information regarding our current beliefs, plans and expectations, including, without limitation, our current expectations with respect to the company’s first quarter 2020 revenue. Words such as "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "forecast," "goal," and variations of any such words or similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties.  Actual outcomes could differ materially from those expressed in or anticipated by such forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, without limitation, those identified in this press release, as well as the following: (i) unanticipated delays, difficulties or acceleration in the execution of patent license agreements; (ii) our ability to leverage our strategic relationships and secure new patent license agreements on acceptable terms; (iii) our ability to enter into sales and/or licensing partnering arrangements for certain of our patent assets; (iv) our ability to enter into partnerships with leading inventors and research organizations and identify and acquire technology and patent portfolios that align with InterDigital's roadmap; (v) our ability to commercialize the company's technologies and enter into customer agreements; (vi) the failure of the markets for the company's current or new technologies and products to materialize to the extent or at the rate that we expect; (vii) unexpected delays or difficulties related to the development of the company's technologies and products; (viii) changes in our interpretations of, and assumptions and calculations with respect to the impact on the company of, the Tax Reform Act, as well as further guidance that may be issued regarding the Tax Reform Act; (ix) failure to accurately forecast the long-term value and costs of the Technicolor patent licensing business or of certain assets acquired in the transactions; (x) the resolution of current legal or regulatory proceedings, including any awards or judgments relating to such proceedings, additional legal or regulatory proceedings, changes in the schedules or costs associated with legal or regulatory proceedings or adverse rulings in such legal or regulatory proceedings; (xi) changes or inaccuracies in market projections; and (xii) changes in the company's business strategy.

We undertake no duty to update publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law, regulation or other competent legal authority.


1   Throughout this press release, net income (loss) and diluted earnings per share ("EPS") are attributable to InterDigital, Inc. (e.g., after adjustments for noncontrolling interests), unless otherwise stated.

2   Free cash flow is a supplemental non-GAAP financial measure that InterDigital believes is helpful in evaluating the company's ability to invest in its business, make strategic acquisitions and fund share repurchases, among other things.  A limitation of the utility of free cash flow as a measure of financial performance is that it does not represent the total increase or decrease in the company's cash balance for the period. InterDigital defines “free cash flow” as net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property and equipment, technology licenses and investments in patents.  InterDigital's computation of free cash flow might not be comparable to free cash flow reported by other companies.  The presentation of this financial information, which is not prepared under any comprehensive set of accounting rules or principles, is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the financial information prepared and presented in accordance with GAAP.  A detailed reconciliation of free cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, is provided at the end of this press release.

(dollars in thousands except per share data)
 For the Three Months
Ended December 31,
 For the Twelve Months
Ended December 31,
 2019 2018 2019 2018
Variable patent royalty revenue$7,871  $10,062  $30,428  $36,384 
Fixed-fee royalty revenue66,876  61,140  257,221  239,347 
Current patent royalties74,747  71,202  287,649  275,731 
Non-current patent royalties24,690  840  19,782  26,329 
Total patent royalties99,437  72,042  307,431  302,060 
Patent sales  750  975  750 
Current technology solutions revenue2,724  2,534  10,518  4,594 
 $102,161  $75,326  $318,924  $307,404 
Patent administration and licensing46,744  38,601  154,940  124,081 
Development18,832  20,419  74,860  69,698 
Selling, general and administrative11,289  12,461  51,289  51,030 
 76,865  71,481  281,089  244,809 
Income from operations25,296  3,845  37,835  62,595 
INTEREST EXPENSE(10,650) (8,714) (40,955) (35,956)
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE), NET5,290  3,313  29,062  5,419 
Income (loss) before income taxes19,936  (1,556) 25,942  32,058 
INCOME TAX BENEFIT (PROVISION)(7,984) 2,416  (10,991) 27,417 
NET INCOME$11,952  $860  $14,951  $59,475 
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interest(1,802) (1,223) (5,977) (5,556)
NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO INTERDIGITAL, INC.$13,754  $2,083  $20,928  $65,031 
NET INCOME PER COMMON SHARE — BASIC$0.44  $0.06  $0.66  $1.89 
NET INCOME PER COMMON SHARE — DILUTED$0.44  $0.06  $0.66  $1.84 
Note: Certain reclassifications have been made to prior period amounts to conform to the current period presentation.

(dollars in thousands)
 For the Three Months
Ended December 31,
 For the Twelve Months
Ended December 31,
 2019 2018 2019 2018
Income (loss) before income taxes$19,936  $(1,556) $25,942  $32,058 
Taxes paid(7,746) (9,445) (24,229) (33,904)
Non-cash expenses26,896  28,007  113,035  90,590 
Change in deferred revenue(8,624) (2,856) (7,749) 6,966 
Increase (decrease) in operating working capital, deferred charges and other(13,005) (43,975) (17,566) 51,082 
Capital spending and capitalized patent costs(8,805) (8,918) (37,990) (34,645)
FREE CASH FLOW8,652  (38,743) 51,443  112,147 
Long-term investments(350)   (350) (6,686)
Proceeds from non-controlling interests5,333    15,666   
Acquisition of patents      (2,250)
Acquisition of business, net of cash acquired      (142,985)
Proceeds from sale of business    10,000   
Dividends paid(10,897) (11,996) (44,580) (48,468)
Taxes withheld upon vesting of restricted stock units(52) (328) (4,368) (8,807)
Share repurchases(25,000) (66,997) (196,269) (110,505)
Net proceeds from exercise of stock options  361  2  6,723 
Payments on long-term debt    (221,091)  
Proceeds from issuance of convertible senior notes    400,000   
Purchase of convertible bond hedge    (72,000)  
Payment for warrant unwind    (4,184)  
Prepayment penalty on long-term debt    (10,763)  
Proceeds from hedge unwind    9,038   
Proceeds from issuance of warrants    47,600   
Payments of debt issuance costs    (8,375)  
Unrealized gain (loss) on short-term investments684  2,868  5,076  2,293 

(dollars in thousands)
Cash & short-term investments$924,695  $945,780 
Accounts receivable (net)28,272  35,032 
Other current assets63,365  43,438 
Property & equipment and patents (net)446,556  464,618 
Other long-term assets (net)149,194  137,690 
TOTAL ASSETS$1,612,082  $1,626,558 
Current portion of long-term debt$94,170  $ 
Accounts payable, accrued liabilities, taxes payable & dividends payable64,734  67,723 
Current deferred revenue146,654  111,672 
Long-term deferred revenue123,653  157,634 
Long-term debt & other long-term liabilities396,590  351,516 
TOTAL LIABILITIES825,801  688,545 
Noncontrolling interest24,724  1,284 
TOTAL EQUITY786,281  938,013 

In the summary consolidated cash flows and throughout this release, the company refers to free cash flow.  The table below presents a reconciliation of this non-GAAP financial measure to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.
  For the Three Months
Ended December 31,
 For the Twelve Months
Ended December 31,
  2019 2018 2019 2018
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities $17,457  $(29,825) $89,433  $146,792 
Purchases of property, equipment, & technology licenses (1,447) (694) (4,509) (2,576)
Capitalized patent costs (7,358) (8,224) (33,481) (32,069)
Free cash flow $8,652  $(38,743) $51,443  $112,147 

CONTACT:InterDigital, Inc.:
 Patrick Van de Wille
 +1 (858) 210-4814

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Source: InterDigital, Inc.