Los Angeles Business Journal

Boingo Shares Rise as Revenue Beats Estimates

By Tom Dotan Friday, May 10, 2013

Better-than-expected revenue for Boingo Wireless during the first quarter has temporarily halted the company’s tumble in 2013.

The Westwood Wi-Fi provider on Thursday reported a first quarter net loss of $988,000 (-3 cents a share) compared with net income of $1.8 million (5 cents) for the period a year earlier. That result was in line with Wall Street estimates.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $23.1 million, beating analyst estimates of $22.1 million.

That surpassing of already low expectations gave some temporary lift to the company’s sinking share price, down 12 percent year-to-date.

“We’re pleased with the start to the year having shown positive momentum on our strategic initiatives,” Chief Executive David Hagan said during an earnings call with analysts.

Boingo, which maintains Wi-Fi hotspots at cafes, restaurants and airports and charges people for access, expanded its international reach during the quarter through a deal with AT&T. Under the agreement, the mobile carrier’s customers will have access to Boingo’s network within international airports and other locations. Hagan said in the earnings call he hopes the deal will reach the states within the year.

The company has taken a hit in recent months as the number of free Wi-Fi spots has proliferated, eating into Boingo’s core business. In its place – Boingo execs have assured stockholders – will be the growth of mobile carrier agreements similar to the one signed with AT&T.

Also expected to fill the revenue gap is advertising on sign-in pages while people connect to a Boingo hot spot. Earlier this week, the company appointed Nick Hulse as president. Hulse is formally the chief revenue officer at West L.A. ad tech firm Rubicon Project.

Boingo shares on Friday closed up 6.8 percent at $7.06 on the Nasdaq.