IDT keeps international phone calls cheap, whether you're calling Argentina or Zambia. The holding company makes most of its money through IDT Telecom, which provides prepaid and rechargeable calling cards and other payment services to customers in the US and 30 other countries. As a pioneer in international callback technology (sometimes known as call reorigination), IDT Telecom also offers wholesale termination services to reroute international calls through less expensive US exchanges. In addition, the company offers local and long distance services in 11 states under the IDT America brand.
As a holding company, IDT owns a host of smaller businesses such as Zedge (mobile phone and tablet personalization), Fabrix (cloud-based video processing, storage, and delivery), and IDT Spectrum (wireless spectrum leasing). Together these and other holdings account for less than 1% of sales.
The US is IDT Telecom's largest market, representing about 70% of revenue. Its largest international market, the UK, accounts for about 15%. Other international markets include the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Austria and Greece.
Sales and Marketing
IDT Telecom markets its prepaid calling cards to ethnic and immigrant communities who frequently make international phone calls. The company offers more than 1,000 different calling cards in the US and more than 800 cards internationally. It sells the cards to major retailers in the US and through a network of several hundred distributors. Its International Mobile Top Up (IMTU) business allows customers to purchase minutes for a prepaid mobile phone in another country, and its BOSS Revolution service offers pay-as-you-go international calling without a PIN.
Revenue in fiscal 2012 (ended July) fell about 3% to $1.5 billion. The company saw strong growth among most of its continuing operations, but was impacted by the divestiture of its Genie Energy business in 2011. IDT's success with prepaid calling cards and other payment services, as well as its wholesale terminations services, continues to make up for its rapid decline in the consumer phone service segment.
The company's net income that year increased nearly 45% to $39 million, boosted by a benefit from income taxes of more than $40 million.
The company's Boss Revolution payment platform is becoming increasingly important as customers abandon traditional disposable calling cards. Boss Revolution is gaining acceptance across US retail locations and was rolled out in the UK and Spain during fiscal 2012. IDT plans to expand its usage across Europe and introduce it to the Asian market in fiscal 2013.
IDT has spun off a number of divisions in order to maintain its focus on the telecommunications industry, causing revenues to fluctuate over the years. It sold its AM radio station in Washington, DC for $4 million in 2010. In October 2011 the company spun off Genie Energy, which was formed in 2009 to oversee the company's energy supply and oil shale development activities. Prior to the spinoff, Genie Energy operated as the IDT Energy segment and accounted for about 12% of revenues. In mid-2012 the company announced plans to spin off Innovative Communications Technologies, which is a portfolio of patents related to VoIP technology.
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Founder and chairman Howard Jonas controls almost 75% of IDT's voting power.