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Edited Transcript of CMTL earnings conference call or presentation 24-Sep-19 8:30pm GMT

Q4 2019 Comtech Telecommunications Corp Earnings Call

MELVILLE Oct 4, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Comtech Telecommunications Corp earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 8:30:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Fred Kornberg

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Chairman, CEO & President

* Jason DiLorenzo

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Tax Director

* Michael A. Bondi

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Senior VP & CFO

* Michael D. Porcelain

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Senior VP & COO

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Conference Call Participants

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* Christopher David Quilty

Quilty Analytics, Inc., Research Division - Founder & Partner

* Joseph Anthony Gomes

NOBLE Capital Markets, Inc., Research Division - Senior Generalist Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Comtech Telecommunications Corp. Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2019 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this call is being recorded Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Jason DiLorenzo of Comtech Telecommunications. Please go ahead, sir.

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Jason DiLorenzo, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Tax Director [2]

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Thank you, and good afternoon. Welcome to the Comtech Telecommunications Corp. conference call for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019. With us on the call this afternoon are Fred Kornberg, Chief Executive Officer and President of Comtech; Michael D. Porcelain, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; and Michael Bondi, Chief Financial Officer.

Before we proceed, I need to remind you of the company's safe harbor language. Certain information presented in this call will include but not be limited to information relating to the future performance and financial condition of the company; the company's plans, objectives and business outlook; and the plans, objectives and business outlook of the company's management. The company's assumptions regarding such performance, business outlook and plans are forward-looking in nature and involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from such forward-looking information. Any forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by cautionary statements contained in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

I am pleased now to introduce the Chief Executive Officer and President of Comtech, Fred Kornberg. Fred?

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Fred Kornberg, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Chairman, CEO & President [3]

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Thank you, Jason. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us on this call. This afternoon, we will be discussing the results for our fourth quarter of fiscal 2019.

As you can see from our announcement today, our fourth quarter performance was an outstanding finish to a very successful year for Comtech. We generated robust financial results across the board and finished the year with a healthy backlog. We exceeded the guidance that we provided at the beginning of the year by far, completed 2 small complementary acquisitions and positioned Comtech for an even better fiscal 2020.

As such, we are setting our initial fiscal 2020 revenue goal to be in the range of approximately $710 million to $730 million, our initial GAAP diluted EPS goal to a range of $1.30 to $1.45 and our initial adjusted EBITDA goal to be in the range of $98 million to $102 million.

At this time, I will turn the call over to Mike Bondi, our CFO, who will provide a discussion of our financial results both from the quarter and the full year in more detail. After that, Mike Porcelain, our COO, will provide a discussion of our business segments as well as some thoughts about fiscal 2020. And then I'll come back before opening up to questions and answers. Mike?

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Michael A. Bondi, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Senior VP & CFO [4]

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Thank you, Fred, and good afternoon, everyone. Our net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 were $176.4 million, and given our strong Q4 performance, we finished the year with sales of $671.8 million, which represents an annual growth rate of 17.7%. From a geographic perspective, net sales in fiscal 2019 to U.S.-based customers were 74.6% of total net sales with 25.4% to international customers.

Bookings for the fourth quarter were solid at $112.2 million. For the full year, we achieved bookings of approximately $724.1 million and ended fiscal 2019 with a strong book-to-bill ratio of 1.08. We finished the year with healthy backlog of $683 million, which is near our record high. When you add our backlog plus the total unfunded value of multiyear contracts awarded to us but not in backlog and for which we expect orders against, we have clear visibility to about $1 billion in total future revenue.

Our gross profit percentage in Q4 2019 was 36.3% and for the year was 36.8%. As discussed before, our gross profit in 2019 reflects a significant year-over-year increase in sales in our Government Solutions segment, which historically achieves lower gross margins than our Commercial Solutions segment. Looking forward, at this point, we expect our gross profit percentage in fiscal 2020 to be about the same or perhaps slightly lower. The ultimate level of gross margin percentage will be driven based on final fiscal 2020 product mix.

GAAP SG&A expenses were $31.4 million for the 3 months ended July 31, 2019, or 17.8% of consolidated net sales. For the year, GAAP SG&A expenses were $128.6 million or 19.1% of consolidated net sales and include $6.4 million of estimated contract settlement costs related to our repositioning in our Commercial Solutions segment of certain of our location technology solutions and $1.4 million of facility exit costs in our Government Solutions segment.

Excluding such costs, our SG&A expenses would have been $120.8 million or 18% of consolidated net sales. We continue to make investments in marketing and sales. And based on current spending plans, we do expect total GAAP SG&A in dollars to be higher in fiscal 2020 as compared to total GAAP SG&A in fiscal 2019 but as a percentage of consolidated net sales to be slightly lower than fiscal '19.

Our repositioning of our location technology solutions remains ongoing. As such, it is possible that our GAAP SG&A expenses in fiscal 2020 may be impacted by the finalization of initial contract settlement estimates or even new items. Obviously, any of these types of adjustments are not in our fiscal 2020 guidance.

Turning to research and development expenses. We spent $15.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 or 8.9% of consolidated net sales. Of this amount, $13.2 million was spent in our Commercial Solutions segment and $1.7 million in the Government Solutions segment, with the balance representing the amortization of stock-based compensation, which is recorded in our unallocated segment. For the year, R&D expenses were $56.4 million or 8.4% of consolidated net sales. We expect to continue investing in R&D projects in fiscal 2020. As such, we expect the amount of R&D in dollars to be higher but as a percentage to be slightly lower than fiscal 2019.

As it relates to amortization, total stock-based compensation expense during Q4 of fiscal 2019 was $8.1 million, and for the year, it was $11.4 million. Amortization of intangibles was $5.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. For the year, amortization of intangibles was $18.3 million. Our business outlook for fiscal 2020, which assumes a full year impact from our fiscal 2019 acquisitions, is expected to approximate $21 million.

Our consolidated GAAP operating income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 was $10.4 million or 5.9% of net sales. Excluding $1.3 million of Q4 acquisition plan expenses, it would have been $11.7 million or 6.6% of consolidated net sales. For the year, our consolidated GAAP operating income was $41.4 million or 6.2% of net sales. Looking forward and including $1.5 million of anticipated Q1 2020 acquisition plan expenses, we believe that GAAP operating income in dollars will be higher than fiscal 2019 and as a percentage of consolidated net sales to approximate 7%.

Our adjusted EBITDA was $28.3 million or 16% of consolidated net sales for the fourth quarter of 2019. On a segment level, adjusted EBITDA for Q4 2019 in our Commercial Solutions segment was $18.8 million or 18.3% of related net sales, and adjusted EBITDA in our Government Solutions segment was $6.1 million or 8.4% of related net sales.

For fiscal 2019, we achieved adjusted EBITDA margins of 18.6% in the Commercial Solutions segment and 11.3% in the Government Solutions segment and on a consolidated basis, 13.9%. Given all of the puts and takes in product mix and other spending changes that we are expecting in fiscal 2020, we anticipate adjusted EBITDA in fiscal 2020 to be in a range of approximately $98 million to $102 million or as a percentage of consolidated net sales approximately 14%. As the year progresses, we might be able to improve on this, but given our current product mix assumptions, this seems to be the right target.

Now let me talk further about interest, taxes, EPS, cash flows and our balance sheet. Interest expense was $2.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. For the year, it was $9.2 million. In fiscal 2020, we are anticipating our interest expense to approximate $7.5 million.

Our actual cash borrowing rate, which excludes the amortization of deferred financing costs, currently approximates 4%. Regarding taxes, excluding a net discrete tax expense of approximately $100,000 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, our effective tax rate was 23.25%. Looking forward, our fiscal 2020 effective tax rate before discrete tax items is expected to approximate 23%.

On the bottom line, GAAP net income in Q4 2019 was $6.1 million or $0.25 per diluted share. Excluding acquisition plan expenses and discrete tax items, our non-GAAP net income for Q4 2019 was $7.2 million or $0.29 per diluted share. For fiscal 2019, GAAP net income was $25 million or $1.03 per diluted share. Excluding adjustments that are indicated in our press release issued earlier today, our non-GAAP net income for fiscal 2019 was $32.6 million or $1.34 per diluted share.

On a GAAP basis and including $1.5 million of acquisition plan expenses, as Fred mentioned, we are setting our fiscal 2020 diluted EPS target to be in a range of $1.30 to $1.45 and non-GAAP EPS to be in a range of $1.35 to $1.50. Ultimately, fiscal 2020 GAAP EPS will be impacted by the final amount of acquisition plan expenses and other adjustment items that may occur during the year.

Once again, we achieved strong operating cash flows of $14.2 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 and $68 million for fiscal 2019. Our Q4 cash flow benefited from changes in working capital and timing, and looking forward, we do expect some buildup of working capital in fiscal 2020 given our growth. As such, we expect to generate somewhere between $50 million and $60 million of cash flows from operations in fiscal 2020. As the year progresses, we will fine-tune this amount.

Our balance sheet as of July 31, 2019, includes $45.6 million of cash and cash equivalents, and our total debt outstanding was $165.8 million. Our balance sheet has plenty of flexibility, and our current secured leverage ratio as defined in our credit facility is only 1.74x.

Let me give you some additional color on the financial guidance we provided today with respect to timing around the quarters and our expected Q1 2020 performance. As we have stated before, Comtech's fiscal quarters often have some unevenness or lumpiness to them. In this regard, similar to Comtech's business cycle, in the past several years, financial performance in the second half of fiscal 2020 is anticipated to be higher than the first half with Q1 expected to be the lowest. I want to point out that operating income in Q1 of fiscal 2020 is expected to be lower than the $7.3 million we achieved in Q1 of fiscal 2019 primarily due to incremental amortization of intangible assets.

As we sit here today, Q1 looks like it will come in around $168 million of sales with adjusted EBITDA at $18.1 million or slightly better than the $160.8 million of sales and $18 million of adjusted EBITDA we achieved in Q1 of fiscal 2019. GAAP EPS in Q1 fiscal 2020 would approximate $0.14.

For the rest of the year, we do expect consolidated net sales and adjusted EBITDA for each quarter of fiscal 2020 to be better than the comparative quarters of fiscal 2019 with the fourth quarter being the peak. Stepping back, 2019 was a great year, and 2020 looks like it will be even better. Now I will hand it over to Michael Porcelain.

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Michael D. Porcelain, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Senior VP & COO [5]

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Thanks, Mike. Based on our demonstratively strong operating results, I do believe it is clear that our long-term business strategies are paying off. Let me give you some recent developments and additional color for each of our 2 business segments both for 2019 and 2020.

As we head into fiscal 2020, we have started to rebrand some of our product lines and further integrate them to make them more reflective of our strategies, leverage sales efforts and to highlight the growth opportunities that we see. I'll mention the rebranding efforts as I go along.

In our Commercial Solutions segment, it was a great year. Net sales were $103 million this quarter and $357.3 million for fiscal 2019. Total sales in this segment were up 3.5% versus last year. Bookings in this segment were $65.7 million for the quarter and $448.1 million for the year, resulting in an outstanding 1.25 book-to-bill ratio.

Our satellite ground station technologies solution line, which consists primarily of our modems and amplifiers, both solid-state and TWTA that are used in satellite communications and which we previously referred to as our communications technology product line, had a terrific year. Although our satellite ground station technologies solutions line did experience order delays and lower sales for in-flight communication amplifiers, it experienced significant growth in sales in fiscal 2019 to international customers as well as incremental demand from U.S. government customers. We believe this product line is poised for growth not only in fiscal 2020 but for the next several years.

Our Heights products are clearly hitting their mark, and it was a very successful fiscal 2019. Heights sales were significantly higher than the levels achieved in fiscal 2018, and the pipeline continues to grow. Based on the anticipated increase in the number of satellites, both high throughput, or HTS, and LEO satellites expected to be launched, and the need to backhaul cellular traffic and as networks migrate from 3G to 4G and ultimately 5G, we believe that we are in the early stages of a multiyear period of growing demand.

Now let me turn to our public safety and location technology product lines, who in fiscal 2019 sales in aggregate were significantly higher as compared to fiscal 2018. Here too, sales in fiscal 2020 are expected to grow. As part of our previously announced enterprise product line repositioning, we are rebranding those products as location technologies. This simple name was chosen to highlight our strength in mapping and location, and our location strategy going forward is to continue to focus on carrier solutions, advanced location for enterprises and public safety opportunities. Our public safety and location technology product lines are anticipated to benefit from both the Solacom acquisition and our acquisition of the GD 911 business, and we believe that these acquisitions are already having a positive impact.

Sometimes, touting is better left to others, and in this regard, I am pleased to announce that since our last conference call, Frost & Sullivan announced that we were the winner of their 2019 North American Product Line Strategy Leadership Award. As stated in their report, this award was based on our assembly and introduction of a comprehensive Next Generation 911 product line that truly addresses customer needs, reduces complexity and accelerates the widespread adoption of Next Generation 911.

With our recent acquisitions, Comtech has emerged as one of the largest Next Generation 911 contract holders in the United States. We are pleased with this award by a third party, and during fiscal 2020, we expect to continue to communicate our award-winning strategies to our customers and focus on execution. Looking forward, we have a strong base of backlog and growing opportunities, and end market conditions for our public safety products, while competitive, remain healthy. All in all, given the product leadership strengths we have in our Commercial Solutions segment, we are optimistic that this segment has set the stage for multiyear growth.

Now let me turn to our Government Solutions segment, where here too, we had a banner year. Net sales in this segment were $73.4 million in Q4 of fiscal 2019 as compared to $74.2 million in Q4 of fiscal 2018, and for the full year, net sales were $314.5 million, which represents an increase of 39.5% over the prior fiscal year.

Bookings in our Government Solutions segment for fiscal 2019 were solid and came in at $276 million. Looking forward, we do believe that fiscal 2020 will be a year of growth for this segment. We are also doing some rebranding efforts here too, and going forward, we will be talking about 2 solution groups. The first Government Solutions group will now be called Mission Critical, which provides tactical, satellite-based technology solutions, field support services and satellite component supply chain management. The second group will be called high-performance transmission technologies. This solution set consists of our radio frequency solid-state high-power amplifiers and switching technologies and troposcatter technologies, which are used in sophisticated communication systems, electronic warfare, radar, identification, friend-or-foe applications.

Our Government Solutions segment is a key supplier to large governments, particularly the U.S. government and large prime contractors, and we believe this product line rebranding will better reflect our core strengths. Today, our Government Solutions segment is a leader in providing Manpack Satellite Terminals, networking equipment and other Advanced VSAT products to the U.S. Army pursuant to the $223.4 million Global Tactical Advanced Communication Systems, or GTACS, contract, which has a remaining unfunded contract value of $45.5 million. We are also the sole provider of SNAP sustainment services to the U.S. Army, and in fiscal 2019, we received $41 million of orders for these services. This work is expected to continue through fiscal 2020 and, we believe, for many years ahead.

Our work in this segment is just not limited to the U.S. government. We also sell to many foreign governments. For instance, during our fourth quarter, we received a $4 million contract from the Brazilian military to expand their satellite-based network for its air traffic control system. We believe that international sales will continue to grow over the next several years, and we are focusing on that. Today, we have several large opportunities in this segment and are optimistic that, as the year progresses, we will be able to report them as bookings. All in all, fiscal 2020 is looking like another year of growth for our Government Solutions segment.

Before turning it back to Fred, I do want to make a few remarks about our recent success on our go-forward strategy. Several years ago, we embarked on a strategy to transform ourselves to have greater scale, more diverse earnings and expand our participation into growing markets. We believe our strategy of investing in marketing and R&D and focusing on both organic and acquisition growth has unquestionably proved successful.

I want to provide a few data points that evidence this and which also illustrates how Comtech has firmly established itself as a market leader in the growing secure wireless communications market. First, looking back in time, just 4 years ago to the end of our fiscal 2015, we had $307.3 million of revenue and $51.8 million of adjusted EBITDA. Both of these metrics were down double digits from 2014. Back then, things were not looking too bright and we were still recovering from a large 2010 contract loss.

But today, we are pleased to be able to stand here and proclaim that fiscal 2019 was our fourth year of consecutive revenue growth and our third year of consecutive adjusted EBITDA growth. Looking at the midpoint of our fiscal 2020 targets, we are expecting to grow again. And when comparing these targets to fiscal 2015, we are nearly twice the size and are able to offer customers more advanced solutions. We believe our customers are recognizing this change, and we hope to participate in more and larger opportunities with them.

Second, back in fiscal 2015, we were not really well diversified and we were overexposed to extremely volatile international markets. In fact, almost 60% of our revenues were international -- 60% of our revenues were international, and today, only 25% of our revenues are derived internationally. We also had no exposure to state and local governments and virtually no relations with U.S. mobile carriers. That has clearly changed.

In fact, as we sit here today, approximately $404.4 million or 60.2% of our 2019 revenues did not even exist in fiscal 2015. As an example, software sales have become more important in our business, and we are pleased that we have somewhat transformed ourselves in this regard. We sold virtually no software back in fiscal 2015. And today, we're a leader in 911 public safety and location solutions, the vast majority of which are software-based.

In addition, we continue to develop our Heights solution, which is software derived, and we went from virtually $0 of sales in fiscal 2015 to now double-digit millions with more growth on the way. Although I don't want to provide a specific number at this point, it is fair to assume that approximately 50% of our Commercial Solutions segment revenues or approximately 25% of the total company's revenue is now software-based.

That again is from a base of literally 0. Clearly, a major game-changer for us as a large amount of software-based revenue is repeat type or annuity type.

Fourth, on the acquisition front, we have successfully completed 3 acquisitions. As everyone knows, our fiscal 2016 TCS acquisition was very large and very complex. Although we had a lot of cleanup to do and it took some time, TCS has been fully integrated into our business. Today, the success of that acquisition is clear. Building on that success, in fiscal 2019, we made 2 small but important acquisitions in the public safety market. The fiscal 2019 acquisitions of Solacom and GD Next Generation 911 had further solidified our market leadership position in the public safety space, and as I mentioned earlier, Frost & Sullivan has recognized our accomplishments here.

Looking forward, in addition to achieving organic growth, acquisitions are a part of our growth plan. From our perspective, acquisitions bring more programs, more capabilities and will allow us to achieve more profitable revenue growth than we could achieve by ourselves. Our business outlook, of course, does not include the impact of these acquisitions. Like we have demonstrated with our recent acquisitions, we only intend to do acquisitions that we believe we can fit into our culture and values and ones that we can -- that we believe we can deliver long-term positive results for our shareholders.

As we head into fiscal 2020, we are continuing with our acquisition plan efforts. And in Q1, we do expect, as Mike Bondi mentioned, to incur at least $1.5 million of expenses during the quarter.

Finally, one last comment. When I sit back and look at Comtech, one key data point that I find a great testament to our strength and market leadership positions is our operating cash flows. Here, we have generated over $185 million of GAAP operating cash flows over the last 3 years. Timing aside, we expect cash flows to grow from current levels, and I am optimistic that our future is bright for many years to come.

Now let me turn it back to Fred, who will provide some closing remarks. Fred?

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Fred Kornberg, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Chairman, CEO & President [6]

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Now that's a hard act to follow. But as I previously mentioned, I'm very pleased with how our business is performing in fiscal 2019. And fiscal 2019 was a terrific year for Comtech. It illustrates the earnings power of our business and our product leadership positions.

Looking out to fiscal 2020, I can say at this point, we have a clear visibility, lots of optimism and a strong business momentum. We believe that in an environment of increasing market demand for global voice, video and data usage, customers will increasingly turn to Comtech to fulfill their needs for secure, wireless communications. With that wind in our backs, I'm confident that we are looking at sustained growth for years to come.

Given our strong business outlook, our Board of Directors today declared a dividend for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 of $0.10 per common share payable on November 15, 2019, to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 16, 2019. We continue to believe our dividend program is a great way to return capital to our shareholders as we grow our business into the future.

Now I'd like to proceed to the question-and-answer period of our conference call. Operator?

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) We'll take our first question from Joe Gomes with NOBLE Financial.

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Joseph Anthony Gomes, NOBLE Capital Markets, Inc., Research Division - Senior Generalist Analyst [2]

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Great quarter and nice finish to the year. Just wondering if you might provide a little bit more talk on the BFT and the troposcatter programs, where you guys are on those, where you think you might see happening in 2020 on those 2 programs.

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Fred Kornberg, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Chairman, CEO & President [3]

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First, Joe, I guess I'd like to mention that none of those 2 areas are in our guidance and what we foresee in 2020. Having said that, let me take on and give you some information that we can put forward. The troposcatter requirement by the U.S. Marines is in process, obviously. And as we understand, the technical evaluation has been finalized, and the award is projected to be in the next government fiscal year, which starts in October 1.

That said, whether it's in October or in January of next year, we really can't tell. That's really a situation that the Army -- I'm sorry, the Marines will determine as their funding becomes real. So we're anxiously awaiting. We're very positive on it, but we can't tell you more than that.

The second part on the BFT area, as you know, we did receive a while back 5,000 of our transceivers for the use with the BFT-2 program. We anticipated that, at that point, with the Army's statements, that there would be follow-ons to those 5,000 transceivers periodically to accrue to almost better than 20,000 transceivers. That has not happened, and that is probably something that has been kind of diverted for the moment. I think what we see now and as you have seen, we received 2 development programs from the program office of the Army to develop some new requirements that will fit into what was now called the BFT-3 program and that the BFT-2 program will really not get any further, let's say, further development or further usage from the Army. So I think as a total program to us, at least, it appears that the Army has decided to kind of push it to the right and go into BFT-3 rather than fix BFT-2. That's where we're going.

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Joseph Anthony Gomes, NOBLE Capital Markets, Inc., Research Division - Senior Generalist Analyst [4]

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And on the enterprise tech repositioning, I know this is somewhat difficult to get at a clear answer, but how much longer do you think that, that takes? Or what else need -- do you guys need to do there to have that repositioning all finished?

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Michael D. Porcelain, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Senior VP & COO [5]

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Yes, it's sort of a two-pronged answer. The first is really continued evaluation of our current set of contracts. And if you remember during 2019, we took some charges associated with that. And I would say too that, that piece is largely done. We've kind of been through the portfolio of customers and contracts that we have. We're still trying to work through 1 or 2 of them. But that part of the process is done.

So then we're -- I think I mentioned it on the call, we had lost and decided not to bid on a few different contracts with companies that have been in the news lately and some that have been restricted because of the location of the business that they actually operate into. And so that piece and that analysis is sort of done. So now we're into the second phase, which is really shifting our focus on new opportunities where we have the best strength, we have key capabilities and market leadership positions in location with, let's say, telephone companies or mobile carriers.

And just give you a sense, a lot of people think we're just providing location data to U.S. companies. But we actually do 100% of all the companies up in Canada, for instance. So we're working to expand our ability to provide location technologies not only amongst U.S. carriers but elsewhere in the world. And so that process is an ongoing effort, and that's really a sales effort.

The second piece, again, is also a sales effort that we're going to be trying to take some of our key mapping products and, again, working with partners. I'm not saying too much about our plans. We're going to be focusing on the public safety market to really go to our customers and bring them new ways of helping first responders when it comes to dealing with 911-type situations. So that piece is going to take some time, and I would say to you our 2020 revenue guidance that Fred and Mike had talked about earlier, that sort of reflects our efforts in there.

But sales efforts is going to take some time before that to launch off. But from a charge and a cost perspective, I would say we're largely done with that. We're more into the growth -- we're now into growing that business and going after our new business phase.

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Joseph Anthony Gomes, NOBLE Capital Markets, Inc., Research Division - Senior Generalist Analyst [6]

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Great. And one final one for me. I mean, obviously, you guys knocked the ball out of the park in '19. 2020 is looking even better. What is out there that gives you concern going into 2020 that might be an obstacle to making your numbers that are guidance numbers?

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Fred Kornberg, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Chairman, CEO & President [7]

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I think, mainly, it would be probably government funding, a recession, things like that. I think percentage-wise, we probably have 2020 revenue to the tune of about 60% of the backlog right now. So we don't have that much to, I guess, to book and ship. So we're pretty confident that 2020, we'll get there.

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Operator [8]

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(Operator Instructions) We'll take our next question from Chris Quilty with Quilty Analytics.

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Christopher David Quilty, Quilty Analytics, Inc., Research Division - Founder & Partner [9]

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I wanted to follow up on the Heights product line. Last quarter, you had mentioned through Q3, you had already exceeded the FY '18 effort. I was wondering where you finished up. And second part to the question is where -- what markets or applications are you specifically seeing strength?

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Michael D. Porcelain, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Senior VP & COO [10]

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Well, it's fair to say that Q4, we had more sales and so we added to our accomplishments, I guess, in 2019. We're -- as this business is growing, we're probably going to give less information in terms of where we are in terms of the actual number except as to either confirm that we're continuing to grow and it's picking up sales.

So yes, it definitely was a good quarter in Q4. The applications are really all over the place. It's -- some of it's in the cellular backhaul side with some opportunities. We've sold some stuff to Japanese transportation companies. We've sold, as we previously announced, to Claro, one of the South -- Latin American cellphone companies and really have stuff all over the place in the cruise line as well. So this is a product that has wide range of applications, and we're focusing on those areas.

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Christopher David Quilty, Quilty Analytics, Inc., Research Division - Founder & Partner [11]

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Got you. And a follow-up. I think last quarter, you had mentioned a low-cost version of the platform. Was it the Pico, something? And...

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Michael D. Porcelain, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Senior VP & COO [12]

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Yes.

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Christopher David Quilty, Quilty Analytics, Inc., Research Division - Founder & Partner [13]

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But I don't remember when -- had that product been released? Or when was the release date for it? And sort of expectations for what market it's going to be attractive and possible contribution in '20.

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Michael D. Porcelain, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Senior VP & COO [14]

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Yes, there's a couple of different variations of the Pico. But I'm going to jump the gun here a little bit and say I think we've announced them. If not, they're going to be announced very shortly, but we have talked about them publicly with our customers. And yes, they're really for, when you think about it, when you have a network and you have many, many different terminals that are out there, remote terminals, you want to provide the more accessibility to that network.

So a pico-type of a product is really able to allow customers to develop very large networks at lower cost because they don't need all that power, let's say, in all of the different areas. So it's really allowing our expanded -- that's what's really driving the expansion of the total addressable market for that product because it will allow Heights to be deployed within much larger networks that need a low-cost terminal.

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Christopher David Quilty, Quilty Analytics, Inc., Research Division - Founder & Partner [15]

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Understand. Shifting gears, the Marine Corps tropo program, do you know, is that expected to be a funded line item or is that in unfunded requirements?

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Fred Kornberg, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Chairman, CEO & President [16]

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No, it's a funded line item for the Marine Corps. They did have the funding earlier when they were in combination with the Army program. But having parted ways, they shifted their funding into the next fiscal government fiscal year, which starts in October. So their funding will be available as, from what I understand, as of October 1.

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Christopher David Quilty, Quilty Analytics, Inc., Research Division - Founder & Partner [17]

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Understand. And less important, but some of the international tropo programs, anything that might land in '20 that would be meaningful?

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Fred Kornberg, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Chairman, CEO & President [18]

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Yes, we have a number of opportunities internationally but obviously at a much smaller booking rate than the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps is the large program that we're chasing at the moment. We do have some in the single-digit millions or some even in the double-digit millions. But as you know, these things take an inordinate amount of time to book so there was a long booking cycle. So we've got the opportunities, but it's really difficult to tell exactly when some of the biggies will come in.

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Operator [19]

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And there are no further questions on the line at this time. I will turn the program to our presenters.

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Fred Kornberg, Comtech Telecommunications Corp. - Chairman, CEO & President [20]

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Okay. Well, thanks again for joining us today, and we look forward to speaking with you again in December. Thank you very much.

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Operator [21]

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This does conclude today's program. Thank you for your participation, and you may now disconnect.