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TiVo turns in best quarter ever, still has to turn the corner in core offerings

TiVo will be with us for some considerable time to come following its first quarter results and the effect that its legal settlement with Dish Network


Published: 26 May, 2011


TiVo will be with us for some considerable time to come following its first quarter results and the effect that its legal settlement with Dish Network has had on its figures. But despite TiVo announcing its best ever financial quarter, the stock still only has a market cap of $1.1 billion – barely up since the settlement was announced, when Dish promised to pay TiVo some $500 million for patent rights.

TiVo CEO Tom Rogers, said, “This has been a memorable quarter for TiVo. The recent historic half billion dollar settlement with Dish Network highlights the significant value of our intellectual property and creates a recurring high margin licensing revenue stream that greatly enhances our financial profile.”

But the company also has new Europe-led momentum, which includes guarantees from pay TV providers who collectively have access to more than 10 million subscribers.

“We believe these deals, along with our arrangements with Comcast, Cox and also DirecTV, give us the opportunity to drive significant subscription growth,” added Rogers.

That can’t actually be seen in the company’s subscription figures, which show that it is down to 1.96 million subs, with 753,000 of them supplied by broadcasters or pay TV operators. The company lost 58,000 TiVo direct subscriptions, but lost only 30,000 which go through operators. While this IS a slowing down of subscriber losses, TiVo once boasted 4.4 million subscribers back in 2006 and until it actually turns the corner and begins adding subscribers, investors will see it as a volatile business. From a year ago when subscribers were at 2.5 million, these were split 1.1 million through operators and 1.4 direct. TiVo seems to be acknowledging that its future lies in working with pay TV operators.

TiVo says that there are larger and larger contributions from new distributors and lower legacy churn at, for instance, DirecTV.

Service and technology revenues were $38.8 million, compared to guidance of $36 million, but is down from the $43.2 million in the same period last year and $41.4 million sequentially. TiVo net income was $139 million, compared to guidance of a net loss of $35 and a net loss of $14.2 million in the year ago quarter. This was entirely due to litigation proceeds of $175 million in the quarter. The company now has $351 million in the bank and more to come from the Dish settlement.

Rogers continued, "The agreement we reached with Dish Network represents one of the largest technology patent settlements of all time and is further validation of the strength of TiVo's intellectual property. In combination with the previously collected damages of over $100 million, the total monetary compensation to be paid by Dish Network for use of our DVR Time Warp patent will exceed $600 million.

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