UPDATE 1-Iridium Communications posts profit rise

Mon Aug 8, 2011 10:44am EDT

* Q2 EPS 16 cents vs. estimate 14 cents

* Year subscriber growth forecast affirmed

ATLANTA Aug 8 (Reuters) - Iridium Communications Inc (IRDM.O), a mobile satellite service provider, reported higher quarterly profit on Monday as it gained subscribers.

The company, which provides voice and data services to industry and government, said it still expects billable subscriber growth of about 20 percent for this year and service revenue growth of 10 percent to 13 percent. It still expects a decline of 5 percent to 15 percent in equipment revenue.

Net income more than tripled to $11.7 million, or 16 cents a share, for the second quarter. Analysts had expected 14 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quarterly revenue rose 14 percent to $95.9 million, better than about $91 million expected by analysts. There were 478,000 total subscribers in the quarter, up from 383,000 a year earlier.

Operational EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, an important measure, came to $48.4 million for the period, up from $36.1 million a year before.

Shares of Iridium were down 4.8 percent or 38 cents, to $7.52 on Monday amid a broader market sell-off. (Reporting by Karen Jacobs, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)