Sinclair Q4 Revenue, Income Jump With Acquisitions, Political Ads
February 18, 2015 at 5:16 AM (PT)
SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP, INC. fourth-quarter 2015 total revenues increased 43.5% to $613.8 million, with net income attributable to the company up from $2.3 million to $95.4 million (2 to 98 cents/share). Net broadcast revenues increased 45.6% to $556.6 million. The numbers for 2014 include revenue and income from several acquisitions and were also boosted by political ad revenue; radio revenues for the company's cluster in SEATTLE are not reported separately from general broadcast figures.
Pres./CEO DAVID SMITH said, "We are excited to report record-breaking results for our key financial metrics for 2014, driven by growth from our acquisitions, political advertising, retransmission consent fees and our digital platform. From that, we returned $194 million to our shareholders in the form of opportunistic share buybacks and dividends, which we increased 10% during the year. In addition, during 2014 we closed on $1.3 billion of net acquisitions, including the $1 billion acquisition of ALLBRITTON COMMUNICATIONS. We also launched several initiatives during the year, including AMERICAN SPORTS NETWORK and ONE MEDIA, which is building the Next Generation Broadcast Platform. Looking ahead to 2015, our focus will continue to be on expanding our original content offerings, developing our distribution platforms, and driving audience share."
EVP/COO DAVID AMY added, "We feel optimistic going into 2015 with first quarter core advertising revenues pacing flat to slightly up when excluding SUPER BOWL, Olympic and incremental political revenues. Transition of the stations acquired in 2014 has been nearly seamless. Likewise, we successfully completed negotiations for new retransmission consent agreements with over 490 multichannel video programming distributors, including U-VERSE, FIOS, ARMSTRONG UTILITIES, ATLANTIC BROADBAND, CABLEONE, CENTURYLINK, WAVE BROADBAND and WIDE OPEN WEST. The new retransmission consent agreements provided uninterrupted carriage of our stations to over 6.3 million unique subscribers, representing over 99.9% of subscribers covered by the expiring agreements. For 2015, we will be focused on launching our new digital content management system, expanding local and national news initiatives, as well as reaching consensus on the advanced technology of the Next Generation Broadcast Platform."
For first quarter 2015, net broadcast revenues, before barter, are expected to be approximately $457.0 million to $461.2 million, up 22.2% to 23.3% year-over-year. SINCLAIR has also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 16.5 cents per share on the Company's Class A and Class B common stock, payable MARCH 15th to shareholders as of FEBRUARY 27th.