Inseego Corp. (INSG) Q1 2022 Earnings Call Transcript

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Inseego Corp. (INSG 1.52%)
Q1 2022 Earnings Call
May 04, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Hello, and welcome to Inseego Corp’s first quarter 2022 financial results conference call. Please note today’s event is being recorded. [Operator instructions] On the call today are Ashish Sharma, CEO; Bob Barbieri, chief financial officer; and other members of the management team. During this call, non-GAAP financial measures will be discussed.

A reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures is included in the earnings release, which is available on the Investor section of the company’s website. An audio replay of this call will also be archived there. Please also be advised that today’s discussion was contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but but rather are based on the company’s current expectations and beliefs.

For a discussion on factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, please refer to the risk factors described in our Form 10-K, 10-Q and other SEC filings, which are available on our website. Please also refer to the cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements section contained in today’s press release. I would now like to turn the call over to Ashish Sharma, CEO. Please go ahead.

Ashish SharmaChief Executive Officer

Thank you, operator, and welcome to Inseego’s first quarter fiscal 2022 earnings call. This is my first earnings call as the CEO, and I’m proud to be reporting a solid quarter of execution to start off 2022. Before I get into the details, I want to take a step back and reflect on where we are as a company in terms of our strategy and execution, and share my vision for Inseego’s future. I will then provide a summary of our Q1 progress.

Let’s start to those strategy. Our objective is to position Inseego as a key solutions provider for enterprises, which has taken a new sense of urgency in the last couple of years by the need for increasingly distributed enterprise workflows. We plan to address this through what we call a 5G edge cloud, which comprises three components; A highly flexible 5G LAN connection anchored by Inseego’s world-class devices; A cloud networking software stack, allowing the creation of a 5G van; and a purpose built suite of enterprise applications. Our approach to this very large market opportunity starts with first providing the best performing, highly flexible, and most secure 5G event access to the 5G networks powered by the carriers.

Inseego now has the most extensive and highest performing 5G products, both mobile broadband and fixed wireless in the market today. In addition to being offered by leading carriers on the world, we have created a great pipeline of enterprise customers in multiple regions, we’re starting to roll out our 5G event solutions for many different use cases. We’ve also integrated into these products, a comprehensive software platform to provide a unified view for our customers, allowing them to fully manage these 5G event solutions. The software is a key technology that is powering our 5G edge cloud where we are bringing all these pieces of our solutions together.

This critical layer of software is key to allowing enterprises to move the corporate LAN into the Inseego 5G cloud. Let me introduce this to the market in the near future, our enterprise customers will be able to innovate at the edge, and empower a more secure distributed workforce or branch locations or a 5G network fabric for the first time. Current enterprise van architectures are complex, highly fragmented, expensive to maintain, and dependent on costly on premise appliances and better third party integrations. They’re also saddled with multiple management consoles and multiple policies.

This large attack surface area makes them rather vulnerable to cyber attacks. Inseego plans on transforming the enterprise van market by offering the full stack of networking capabilities as a 5G cloud app. The cornerstone of the third part of our enterprise strategy is the Ctrack application portfolio that currently serves thousands of enterprise and SMB customers. We plan to offer this application suite as part of our 5G edge cloud, as it has great synergy with the other two solution portfolios I described earlier.

Since the sale of Ctrack South Africa unit, we’ve been busy modernizing the architecture of this application, along with enabling 5G and integrating into our 5G edge cloud. You see a huge opportunity to utilize this technology, to digitize many facets of enterprise operations in verticals such as transportation, construction, logistics, supply chain, energy, utilities, services, local governments, and more. We will have more to say during our next call, but I’m really excited with the progress we’ve made and believe the improvements will help accelerate growth. Note that our carrier customers are also a key partners in this new 5G enterprise journey.

In addition to selling our high performing hotspots and FWA devices, carriers are also an important go-to-market partners for our enterprise 5G solutions. T-Mobile is a great example of this, where we have two ways to sell our products. First is what we call Stark, where T-Mobile buys our devices directly and sells them to their customers as part of our service package. The second is what we call [Inaudible], where the T-Mobile sales force brings us enterprise opportunities that we fulfill through the VR and distributor challenge.

We see similar arrangements developing in other global markets where we will sell both directly to the carrier and to its preferred channel partners. Ultimately, our carrier relationships will be an important driver of growth and profitability as we look to take share in what is still a nascent and rapidly growing market. With that, let’s dive into the first quarter. First, I am pleased to report that we are off to a good start in ’22 with revenue growth of 23% year-over-year on a pro forma basis, excluding Ctrack South Africa.

And our gross margin rebounded from the prior quarter. Had it not been for minor supply chain issues that affected our enterprise business late in the quarter? Our revenue would have exceeded street consensus. Reflecting our focus on next generation products and go to market expansion, 5G revenue was up 142% year-over-year and comprised 44% of total revenue. Importantly, next generation software solutions represented 23% of total revenue in Q1.

Bob will go into more details in a moment. As I’m sure all of you are aware, COVID related lockdowns were instituted in China late in Q1. I’m very proud of how Inseego has navigated the global supply chain challenges over the past year. And there are few companies, large or small, that have not been affected.

We continue to see lead times lengthening, and with limited availability of parts in the spot markets and rising shipping cost, especially for products with relatively short sales cycles. Although, we were relatively unaffected in Q1, a prolonged lockdown in China may have more of an impact in Q2, particularly as it relates to our anticipated new product launches. I will now touch upon new customer expansions from this quarter, both on the carrier side and through our new enterprise initiatives. During the quarter, we launched a 5G solution with Telus in Canada, and you saw the US cellular fixed wireless announcement last week.

In North America, our 5G products are certified by all the major carriers, and we have a broad range of engagements with both carriers and enterprises, which we are very proud of. Our investments in our targeted international markets of Europe, Middle East, and are fairly are beginning to pay off after a couple of years of investment. We have seen repeat orders from several international customers, which is encouraging. As a run rate business in new markets is starting to build up, and is expected to contribute more meaningfully to our growth in ’22.

We also want a new carrier customer in the Nordics and we shipped the initial quantity of product to them recently. On the enterprise side, we saw good progress with new customer engagements for our 5G solutions in multiple regions. As I’ve stated in prior calls, we’re still in the early stages of 5G adoption for the enterprise. 5G networks are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and are evolving to meet the requirements for enterprise use.

While we may see the 5G icon on our mobile phones and to conclude coverage is sufficient, the underlying infrastructure is still evolving with new mid-band capacity, new 5G NSA core network, and carrier data plans to make 5G a prime event solution for the enterprises. We believe this is a large market in the making as the carriers will push hard to move, many enterprise use cases onto these newly built 5G networks. With our FWA portfolio, we are well-positioned to win in this market. Speaking of FWA, we are encouraged by the continued growth in our pipeline.

But more importantly, we are seeing several customers move to deploy our products broadly across their organizations. These engagements follow a typical pattern where an enterprise will buy 3 to 5 first devices to test. Thereafter, they ordered 30 to 50 devices for small scale deployment before rolling out company wide, which in many cases required thousands of Inseego devices. These customers are also leveraging our cloud-based software to manage and secure the devices across their distributed workforce or branch locations.

Let me provide a few examples. One example is an enterprise customer with over 27,000 employees. They were looking for a reliable 5G work-from-home solution to offer their remote employees to ensure a secure and consistent user experience no matter where they were — they’re located. To ensure security and consistency, the customer is now using our cloud management solution so that their IT team can have visibility into the entire deployment, enabling them to manage, configure, and monitor the connections all from a single pane of glass.

In the retail sector, we have a couple of us based customers laying the foundation for their own digital transformation, leveraging our solutions for 5G connectivity across their stores to power a number of applications that require reliable, real time connections, such as surveillance. These customers want in initiative to supply a sector with approximately 2,000 stores, and a nationwide clothing retailer with 800 stores, respectively, have successfully completed our testing and are now starting widespread deployments. Finally, we are seeing an accelerated drive to cross the digital divide, which is driven largely in part by the beauty of 5G being significantly easier and cheaper to deploy than fiber in many instances. In addition, boots ability to handle massive amounts of data.

Most recently, we secured a deal with one of the top public libraries in the U.S., with over 90 branches serving a population of over 3.5 million. They are leveraging our 5G cloud managed solutions. As you can see, we are making significant progress against our key strategic objectives. I want to thank the employees of Inseego for their tireless work and solid execution.

[Inaudible] have a robust 5G product portfolio and growing enterprise pipeline, we remain confident that Inseego is well-positioned to achieve our financial goals. However, there are a number of factors that cloud our near-term visibility. First is the plateauing of our 4G hotspot business. After setting records in 2020 and 2021, the first quarter reflected the normalization of 4G as 5G becomes more — widespread.

This has always been expected, and as that portfolio carries over lowest gross margins, it is a positive transition. Second is the evolution of enterprise 5G data plans that are key to broader adoption of the blue wave. These plans are now being released and our current expectation is for several key partners to begin ramping during the summer, which should position us for a strong finish to the year. We’ve always planned on a strong back half of the year, but we also projected those data plans to be released a few months ago.

And lastly, the supply chain, as you’ve said in previous quarters, you’ve not really experienced any meaningful supply chain issues on our existing products. This remains [Inaudible] today. However, we remain very that ongoing supply chain challenges associated with COVID related lockdowns in China could impact our new product launches later in 2022. Once factories reopen, we will be able to fully gauge if our new roll out should be delayed or not.

All these factors together may push out our growth expectations for 2022 calendar year. Note that we measure this as a delay by a matter of months as opposed to multiple quarters or more. We will update our thinking once we have greater certainty around the timing of carrier of FWA roll outs and the easing of COVID restrictions in China. I would now like to turn the call over to Bob, who will provide more details on our Q1 results.

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

Thank you, Ashish. Let me now review the results of our first quarter fiscal 2022. Please note that all metrics and comparisons made are non-GAAP on a pro forma basis. Adjusted for the divestiture of Ctrack South Africa, which was completed in July 2021.

Please refer to our earnings release for additional details on the GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation. Q1 revenue was $61.4 million, up 23% from the prior year. Our strong growth reflects rising demand for our 5G mobile broadband and fixed wireless products and further uptake of our cloud solutions. Next Generation Solutions, which are comprised of 5G devices and all of our cloud software assets, increased 68% over Q1 fiscal 2021, and represented 67% of total revenue in this quarter as compared to 43% of revenue in the year ago quarter.

First quarter IoT and mobile solution revenue was $54.5 million, up 27% from the same period last year. Our strong performance was again driven by demand for our 5G mobile hotspots from both our carrier partners and enterprises, partially offset by a decline in the sales of 4G devices. Enterprise SaaS solution revenue was $6.9 million, which was flat on a sequential and year-over-year basis. As Ashish noted, we’re currently modernizing the architecture of our software assets and integrating them into our 5G edge cloud.

Consolidated gross margin was 27.3%, up from 25.4% in Q4, but down from 31% in Q1 last year. Gross margin for the IoT and mobile business was 24.1%, down from 26.1% in the year ago period, but up almost 200 basis points from 22.2% in the prior quarter. The gross margin decline from last year reflects higher freight costs, while the improvement on a sequential basis was driven by a more favorable mix of device sales. Gross margin for the rnterprise SaaS segment was 53.3%, down sequentially from 58.2% and year-over-year from 62.5%.

Q1 non-GAAP net loss was $12.1 million, or $0.11 per share, down from $0.08 per share in both the prior and year ago quarters. We reported an adjusted EBITDA loss of $3.3 million, which was down by $1.1 million and $2.1 million, respectively, compared to Q1 last year and last quarter. The change was largely due to lower levels of capitalized R&D relative to what we expense. Our overall cash spending on R&D remains consistent, and our investment in Next Generation Solutions is calibrated to our vision to ramp-up the SaaS model over time.

For additional details on our non-GAAP and adjusted results, please refer to the reconciliation tables in our press release. Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash at the end of Q1 was $45.2 million. We note that our cash position benefited from the timing of some larger collections, which we expect to normalize this quarter and therefore result in the uses of cash in Q2 that is more consistent with our recent historical run rate. With that, let me turn it back to Ashish for his closing comments.

Ashish SharmaChief Executive Officer

Thank you, Bob. Since taking over as CEO last quarter, I’ve had numerous conversations with our shareholders and the investment community. There’s one thing I’ve consistently heard. It is a desire to see us move beyond the narrative of investing in the opportunity offered by 5G, and to start executing consistently against our objectives for robust top line growth and improved profitability.

That is why we are being as, as transparent as possible and sharing with everyone the near-term challenges that face us. But as I said before, we believe these challenges will be measured in months, not quarters or years. I want to be clear on how excited I am about the opportunity that lies ahead in 5G for the enterprise. Inseego has become the leader in 5G edge with our high performance mobile and FWA solutions.

In the coming months, the pieces will be put in place for mainstream adoption as the carriers evolves their 5G data plans, and we move beyond the renewed COVID lockdowns. We believe these factors, combined with our growing pipeline, and expanding go to market will put us back on track to achieving our financial goals. Thank you for your interest in Inseego. Now let’s go to Q&A.

Questions & Answers:


Thank you. [Operator instructions] Today’s first question comes from Lance Vitanza with Cowen and Company. Please go ahead.

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

Hey, guys. Thanks, and congratulations on the nice quarter. I guess I had a couple of questions. The first is, Ashish mentioned the China lockdowns could cause a bigger impact in to 2Q, I think you mentioned in particular with respect to new product launches.

Could you provide any more color on maybe the magnitude of the delay? And and is that revenue likely to– I think you addressed this in terms of the months rather than quarters commentary. But specific to what you’re seeing with those lockdowns, is this revenue that you think likely gets pushed into the second half? Or is there some risk that this revenue is lost forever for whatever reason?

Ashish SharmaChief Executive Officer

Hey, Lance. Nice talking to you. Hope you’re doing well. So, yes.

To answer your question. It really is a slight delay, is how I would say it. We’re working through all of the partners out there in Asia as they go to these lockdowns. It’s just uncertainty.

That’s all I would say at this point. We could — we’ll come back and provide more details as we see how things unfold. It could happen, I — that’s why I said that these delays could happen. But we are really tightly managing them right now.

But it’s just the overall global uncertainty as that’s kicked in through to what’s happening with COVID in Asia. That’s why we’re just saying it’s a little bit of a delay. But beyond that, I mean, we’re working through all the challenges we are seeing out there.

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

So, on the last quarter, I think maybe the last couple of quarters, you guys obviously had talked about a — in outlook for 2022 of for 25% year-over-year growth. Obviously, that’s that pro forma for the Ctrack South Africa sale. And I think you’d also been expecting to be free cash flow positive by year end. I know that there’s a lot of uncertainties here, but just in terms of thinking about how we model, the best that we can do at this point, — would you be comfortable putting, is it — should we be thinking more like a 15% year-over-year growth or or more or less than that? And could you help us think about that — the magnitude of a potential when you finish the year, where do you think you’ll be? Burning — 10 million a year, burning — more or less than that? Something that we can put some goalpost around those two things would be great.

And then I have one follow up for Bob, if you don’t mind.

Ashish SharmaChief Executive Officer

Hey, Lance. I will answer and then have Bob provided the input. So as I said earlier, to me, this is more of delays than anything else. So what I would say is, is as things come back online quickly in China and as you know, the second point that that I mentioned earlier in the remarks was the 5G data plans get put in place by the leading carriers, we’re really ready to go like we’ve got the portfolio, we’ve got the products, and we’re super excited about all the pipeline of opportunities we are working through with lots of hundreds of enterprises right now.

So to me, this is more of a delay. And if I were to talk about how you model it, I was just say, you model it as a delay versus that demand leading those or anything like that. Bob?

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

Yeah, Lance. Hopefully, that is helpful. Two things on your previous question, I just wanted to reiterate, we don’t see any demand going away. So everything is viewed as in the delay bucket.

Not so — and that’s not — it’s not an [Inaudible], it’s a when. Second, certainly and a lot of these are bigger than any company, including the largest companies, COVID supply chain — shocks and things like that. And some delays rolling out of 5G new plans. With those headwinds, we — the way we think about it now is we’re seeing Q1 as a run rate, and we will create greater clarity as we see through what’s going on in technology.

So all of our goals and aspirations, including the numbers you threw out, probably, look to be reaffirmed in our next quarterly call, and for that fiscal year, call it the end of Q2 till you have a Q2 next year. Because we really do — just due to these global things with some of the technology giants have come in and suspended, what they provided as guidance and — we don’t want to put ourselves ahead of that. That we know more than Apple as a for instance.

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

No, that’s — really helpful. —

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

[Inaudible] the markets there and the appetite we believe from our customers is there is just collate.

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

That’s really helpful. Bob, just my last question before I turn it on to the next person. You mentioned the sequential improvement in gross margin, and I may have missed the commentary. I’m actually referring to the release where you talk about the improvement in gross margin.

Presumably, you’re referring to in the non-GAAP basis versus Q4, which I think, I went back and tried to do that calc., I think it was about a 200 basis point sequential improvement in gross margin on a non-GAAP basis, is that correct?

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

That is correct, yes. — Yeah. Go ahead.

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

And — Well, so my question is, presumably, that was entirely driven by mix shift with with supply chain offsetting what would otherwise have been an even bigger improvement. Is that right? And if so, I’m wondering if you could maybe try to quantify for us how much the supply chain costs you, if it did cost you in terms of gross margin in the quarter?

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

Oh, I think about it this way. You are correct. We did have a really nice quarter with 5G products inside of the mix. So, we were up significantly and that helped.

Second, I would say Q4 to Q1, our supply chain issues both with freight and material costs were relatively the same. So as that — clears a bit, they’ll be further improvement from the reduction of those effects. But the mix is the big driver and the sequential quarter.

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

Any ability to pass on price increases either well, either, did you do it in the quarter at hand? Or is there a chance that you could do that going forward or no? Is that really just going to show up as gross margins influence in the near-term?

Ashish SharmaChief Executive Officer

Yeah, Lance, we do that whenever possible, right. There are different segments of the markets you play in, and certain segments are more sensitive to price increases than the others, so I would say, we always try to take the opportunity particularly in this environment, to make those changes. But it’s not always possible. Not [Inaudible] —

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

Right. OK. Thanks, guys.

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

Well, let me just add one thing, because I think it’s relevant to your question, Lance, and thank you very, very good questions. The other way to get mix, what we’ve achieved is more 5G inside of our mix. The second thing we’re looking forward to as a company is greater penetration into the enterprise space that we think will bring additional margin enhancement, including some greater software attach, which even though it’s a SaaS basis over time, will bring certainly greater and higher margins over that extended rolling period of time.

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

Thanks. Thanks for your help, guys. Appreciate it.


And the next question today comes from Mike Latimore at Northland Capital. Please go —

Aditya DagaonkarNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

Hi. This is Aditya Dagaonkar on behalf of Mike Latimore. Could you give some commentary on if you expect the higher inflation to affect the consumer spending on your product areas?

Ashish SharmaChief Executive Officer

Hey, Adit. Nice talking to you. So, look, first off, majority of our product goes into enterprises. So, we don’t really, we’re not really seeing any impacts of inflation at this point.

Aditya DagaonkarNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

All right. And do you have 2, 10 percentage customers again in this quarter?

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

Yes, that’s correct.

Aditya DagaonkarNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

All right. Also to add, what quarterly revenue you think you can achieve free cash flow positive?

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

To be fair, with what we’ve presented in the past, we have not given that number out. What we would like to do, it’s kind of builds on what Lance asked earlier. It’s come back in Q2, with hopefully some version of a reaffirmation of what we were previously guiding. And we’d like to get clarity as to the whole technology space supply chain, COVID lockdowns and those, and then come back in Q2 and provide greater clarity for you.

Aditya DagaonkarNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

All right. Thank you.


And ladies and gentlemen, this concludes your question-and-answer session. I would to turn the conference back over to Ashish Sharma for closing remarks.

Ashish SharmaChief Executive Officer

Thank you, operator, and thank you, everyone for joining us on the call today. We look forward to seeing you at upcoming investor conferences, including Stifel and Cowen in June, and updating you all on the next quarter on our continued progress. Thank you again.


[Operator signoff]

Duration: 32 minutes

Call participants:

Ashish SharmaChief Executive Officer

Bob BarbieriChief Financial Officer

Lance VitanzaCowen and Company — Analyst

Aditya DagaonkarNorthland Capital Markets — Analyst

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