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Vonage reports Q1 positives, EBITDA, line losses slows

Tweaking various parts of its operations and doing a little bookkeeping shuffle, Vonage reported EBIDTA of $21 million for the first quarter of 2009 and GAAP net income of $5 million; about $0.03 per share. However, the company is still spending $290 per customer to get customers in the door and had a net loss of 6,000 lines in the quarter.

On the plus side of the ledger, Vonage is touting the second quarter of positive income from operations and the sixth consecutive quarter of growth in adjusted EBIDTA. Net income includes a $13 million adjustment in the company’s convertible debit; if you throw that out, the net loss translates to $8 million or $0.05 per share.

Also good: telephony services ARPU was at $28.78, up from $28.28 last quarter. ARPU was up in a combination of promotions mix, tighter controls on customer credits, and a bookkeeping change due to a decrease in the FCC USF rate.

Improving, but needing lots of work, the marketing cost per gross subscriber line addition (SLAC) was $290, down from $309 last quarter — still in the high-blood pressure zone. Churn creeped back up to 3.1 percent from 2.9 percent last quarter and is blamed in part on seasonality.

Vonage also lost more than 6,000 net subscriber lines, finishing the quarter with 2.53 million lines in service. Last quarter they lost 14,744 lines. A year ago, they had added over 30,133 for the quarter and had a total of 2.61 million lines.

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