Free Cash Flow From (Used in) Operations and Capital Expenditures
Free cash flow from operationsi was $122.1 million during the three months ended December 31, 2012. Free cash flow from operations is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, less payments for satellites and other property and equipment (including capitalized interest). Free cash flow from operations excludes $82.4 million of net proceeds from the sale of our US administrative headquarters facility received during the fourth quarter of 2012. Payments for satellites and other property and equipment during the three months ended December 31, 2012, totaled $150.9 million. Payments for satellites and other property and equipment during the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, totaled $866.0 million. Significant customer prepayments received in the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, totaled $180 million, consistent with previous guidance of $150 million to $200 million.
We are updating and extending our capital expenditure guidance for the three calendar years 2013 through 2015 (the "Guidance Period"). The primary difference between our previous and current guidance is the addition of the Intelsat 27 replacement satellite, Intelsat 27R. Today's guidance assumes investment in nine satellites during the Guidance Period. We finalized construction of the first of these, the Intelsat 27 satellite, in January 2013; the satellite was destroyed during launch on February 1, 2013. We expect to launch four satellites in 2014 and 2015, during the Guidance Period, including Intelsat 27R. By the conclusion of the Guidance Period, our total transmission capacity is expected to increase modestly from levels at year end 2012. The first of our new Intelsat EpicNG high-throughput satellites is expected to launch in 2015 and enter service in 2016, significantly increasing our total transmission capacity.
We expect our capital expenditures to range from $600 million to $675 million in 2013, and $575 million to $650 million in 2014, or $50 million above previously-issued guidance in each year, reflecting the addition of Intelsat 27R to our planning. For 2015, we anticipate capital expenditures of $775 million to $850 million, which will include expenditures for four additional replacement satellites that we plan to launch beyond the Guidance Period. Our capital expenditures guidance includes capitalized interest. The annual classification of capital expenditure payments could be affected by the timing of achievement of satellite manufacturing and launch contract milestones.
During the Guidance Period, we expect to receive significant customer prepayments under our customer service contracts. We also anticipate that prepayments will be received under customer contracts to be signed in the future. Significant prepayments are currently expected to range from $150 million to $200 million in 2013, from $100 million to $150 million in 2014, and from $25 million to $50 million in 2015, with the majority of these prepayment amounts coming from existing customer contracts.
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i In this release, financial measures are presented both in accordance with GAAP and also on a non-GAAP basis. EBITDA, Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow from operations and related margins included in this release are non-GAAP financial measures. Please see the consolidated financial information below for information reconciling non-GAAP financial measures to comparable GAAP financial measures.
Conference Call Information
Intelsat management will host a conference call with investors and analysts at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, February 28, 2013, to discuss the company's financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2012. Access to the live conference call will also be available via the Internet at the Intelsat Web site: www.intelsat.com/investors/events. To participate on the live call, participants should call (866) 356-4441 from North America, and +1 (617) 597-5396 from all other locations. The participant pass code is 23681360. Participants will have access to a replay of the conference call through March 7, 2013. The replay number for North America is (888) 286-8010 and for all other locations, +1 (617) 801-6888. The participant pass code for the replay is 68778693.
Intelsat is the leading provider of satellite services worldwide. For over 45 years, Intelsat has been delivering information and entertainment for many of the world's leading media and network companies, multinational corporations, Internet Service Providers and governmental agencies. Intelsat's satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video, data and voice services. From the globalization of content and the proliferation of HD, to the expansion of cellular networks and broadband access, with Intelsat, advanced communications anywhere in the world are closer, by far.
Intelsat Safe Harbor Statement: Some of the statements in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" that do not directly or exclusively relate to historical facts. The forward-looking statements made in this release reflect Intelsat's intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside of Intelsat's control. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include known and unknown risks. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ from historical results or those anticipated or predicted by these forward-looking statements include: risks associated with operating our in-orbit satellites; satellite launch failures, satellite launch and construction delays and in-orbit failures or reduced performance; potential changes in the number of companies offering commercial satellite launch services and the number of commercial satellite launch opportunities available in any given time period that could impact our ability to timely schedule future launches and the prices we pay for such launches; our ability to obtain new satellite insurance policies with financially viable insurance carriers on commercially reasonable terms or at all, as well as the ability of our insurance carriers to fulfill their obligations; possible future losses on satellites that are not adequately covered by insurance; U.S. and other government regulation; changes in our contracted backlog or expected contracted backlog for future services; pricing pressure and overcapacity in the markets in which we compete; inadequate access to capital markets; the competitive environment in which we operate; customer defaults on their obligations to us; our international operations and other uncertainties associated with doing business internationally; and litigation. Known risks include, among others, the risks included in Intelsat's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and its other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the political, economic and legal conditions in the markets we are targeting for communications services or in which we operate and other risks and uncertainties inherent in the telecommunications business in general and the satellite communications business in particular. Because actual results could differ materially from Intelsat's intentions, plans, expectations, assumptions and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements contained in this news release with caution. Intelsat does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
EBITDA consists of earnings before net interest, gain (loss) on early extinguishment of debt, taxes and depreciation and amortization. Given our high level of leverage, refinancing activities are a frequent part of our efforts to manage costs of borrowing. Accordingly, we consider (gain) loss on early extinguishment of debt an element of interest expense. EBITDA is a measure commonly used in the FSS sector, and we present EBITDA to enhance the understanding of our operating performance. We use EBITDA as one criterion for evaluating our performance relative to that of our peers. We believe that EBITDA is an operating performance measure, and not a liquidity measure, that provides investors and analysts with a measure of operating results unaffected by differences in capital structures, capital investment cycles and ages of related assets among otherwise comparable companies. However, EBITDA is not a measure of financial performance under U.S. GAAP, and our EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to operating income (loss) or net income (loss), determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, as an indicator of our operating performance, or as an alternative to cash flows from operating activities, determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, as an indicator of cash flows, or as a measure of liquidity.
Intelsat calculates a measure called Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA to assess the operating performance of Intelsat S.A. Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA consists of EBITDA of Intelsat S.A. as adjusted to exclude or include certain unusual items, certain other operating expense items and certain other adjustments as described in the table above. Our management believes that the presentation of Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA provides useful information to investors, lenders and financial analysts regarding our financial condition and results of operations, because it permits clearer comparability of our operating performance between periods. By excluding the potential volatility related to the timing and extent of non-operating activities, such as gains (losses) on derivative financial instruments, our management believes that Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA provides a useful means of evaluating the success of our operating activities. We also use Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA, together with other appropriate metrics, to set goals for and measure the operating performance of our business, and it is one of the principal measures we use to evaluate our management's performance in determining compensation under our incentive compensation plans. Adjusted EBITDA measures have been used historically by investors, lenders and financial analysts to estimate the value of a company, to make informed investment decisions and to evaluate performance. Our management believes that the inclusion of Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA facilitates comparison of our results with those of companies having different capital structures.
Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure of financial performance under U.S. GAAP and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. Intelsat S.A. Adjusted EBITDA should not be considered as an alternative to operating income (loss) or net income (loss), determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, as an indicator of our operating performance, or as an alternative to cash flows from operating activities, determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, as an indicator of cash flows, or as a measure of liquidity.
Ordinary shares, $1.00 par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized and 5,000,000 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2011 and December 31, 2012
Payments for satellites and other property and equipment (including capitalized interest)
Free cash flow from (used in) operations consists of net cash provided by operating activities, less payments for satellites and other property and equipment (including capitalized interest). Free cash flow from (used in) operations excludes proceeds from the sale of our Washington, D.C. facility, and is not a measurement of cash flow under GAAP. Intelsat believes free cash flow from (used in) operations is a useful measure of financial performance that shows a company's ability to fund its operations. Free cash flow from (used in) operations is used by Intelsat in comparing its performance to that of its peers and is commonly used by analysts and investors in assessing performance. Free cash flow from (used in) operations does not give effect to cash used for debt service requirements and thus does not reflect funds available for investment or other discretionary uses. Free cash flow from (used in) operations is not a measure of financial performance under GAAP, and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. You should not consider free cash flow from (used in) operations as an alternative to operating or net income, determined in accordance with GAAP, as an indicator of Intelsat's operating performance, or as an alternative to cash flows from operating activities, determined in accordance with GAAP, as an indicator of cash flows or as a measure of liquidity.