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Leap Wireless International, Inc. (LEAP)

Q3 2008 Earnings Call

November 5, 2008 5:00 pm ET


Amy Wakeham – Director, IR

S. Doug Hutcheson - President and CEO

Albin Moschner - EVP and COO

Walter Berger - EVP and CFO


Philip Cusick - Macquarie

Romeo Reyes - Jefferies & Co.

Chris Larsen - Credit Suisse

Scott Malat - Goldman Sachs

Rick Prentiss - Raymond James



Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the quarter three, 2008 Leap Wireless International Earnings Call. My name is Michelle and I will be your operator for today. At this time all participants are in listen-only mode. We will conduct a question-and-answer session towards the end of this conference. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Amy Wakeham, Director of Investor Relations. Please proceed ma'am.

Amy Wakeham

Thank you. Michelle. Good afternoon and welcome to Leap's third quarter 2008 conference call. This call is being recorded and will be available for play back in the United States through the close of business on November 19th by calling 888-286-8010. Callers from outside the US will need to dial 617-801-6888. The pass code for both calls is 78428117.

Today's conference call with the accompanying presentation is also being webcast live and will be available for replay on the Investor Relations section of our website at, shortly after the completion of our live call.

Joining me on the call today to discuss our third quarter results are Doug Hutcheson, President and Chief Executive Officer; Al Moschner, Chief Operating Officer; and Walter Berger, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Following our prepared remarks, Michelle will come back on the line with instructions for the question-and-answer portion of the call. Glenn Umetsu, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer will join Doug, Al and Walter for the question-and-answer session.

The results and data we will discuss today, including customer information reflect the consolidated results of Leap, its subsidiaries and is non-controlled joint ventures, LCW Wireless LLC and Denali Spectrum LLC for the period indicated.

Also as used in today's conference call and accompanying presentation, the term 'New Initiatives' refers to the company's newly market launch activities and its Mobile Broadband offerings. The term 'existing business' refers to the company's market in operation and associated services in those markets as of December 31st, 2007.

During our call today, we will discuss some non-GAAP financial measures. For a GAAP reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures, please refer to the notes of the financial statements contained in today's earnings release and also to the financial reports page of the Investor Relations section of our website at

Statements made today that are not historical in nature, including statements about future events and performance, such as our plans to offer our services to additional covered POPs and expectations regarding future growth, spending, results of operations and customer penetration, are forward-looking statements. Our actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ from our forward-looking statements are detailed in the section entitled 'Risk Factors', included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and in our other publicly filed reports, including our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, which we plan to file shortly.

For anyone listening to a taped or a webcast replay or reviewing a written transcript of our third quarter call. Please note that all information presented is current only as of today's date, November 5, 2008. The company disclaims any duty or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

With that, I would now like to turn the call over to Doug.

Doug Hutcheson

Thank you, Amy. Welcome and thank you for joining us today, for this appeared to be challenging times, both economically and weather related. However, we believe we are doing well even with the challenges we face and absorbing their effects.

While we find ourselves concerned like I expect all of you are who have joined us today, we also find ourselves optimistic in looking forward to the coming quarters. We believe we are in the right place, at the right time, with the right products. While we expect there will be challenges, we believe we are prepared to meet these.

As we look at our journey that we have outlined in late 2007 to double the size of our business by 2010, we continue to see progress. The footprint expansions are going as planned. The new markets that we have launched in Auction 66 are now $8.5 million and we expect to be approaching $10 million by year end.

We are looking forward to an acceleration of launches in the first half of 2009. Our broadband initiative continues to progress well with nearly 32 million POPs launched as we look towards 60 million or more by the end of the fourth quarter.

Customer growth also continues with overall Q3 growth returning to the levels we experienced in 2006. The peak, growth level that we saw in the third quarter, during our last expansion, which was based on a much greater number of launch POPs than what we currently have.

We are now entering our typical higher growth quarters, the fourth and the first quarters. We see as we will discuss with you today, strengthen the existing business and acceleration in our broadband business and as I discuss increasing launches. While we expect challenges we look forward to 2009.

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