Tribune Media Third-Quarter Revenues Up 6%, But Political Revenue Disappoints
November 9, 2016 at 3:35 PM (PT)
TRIBUNE MEDIA third-quarter 2016 revenues rose 6% to $518.1 million, with consolidated operating profit up 473% to $222.4 million thanks to $213 million in real estate sales and a program impairment charge of $37 million. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA increased 16% to $130.4 million, consolidated net income rose from $27.9 million to $145.8 million. Diluted income per common share jumped from 29 cents to $1.61 due to the real estate sales; without the real restate gains, adjusted diluted earnings per share increased from 28 to 48 cents.
Television and Entertainment net ad revenues, including political revenue, rose 3%, to $329.3 million, with retransmission consent revenue up 13% to $78.7 million, carriage fee revenue up 48% to $29 million, and digital ad revenue (also included in net advertising revenues) up 16% to $15.8 million. Revenues for the company's sole radio property, News-Talk WGN-A/CHICAGO, are not disclosed.
“Our financial results in the third quarter demonstrate the strength and resiliency of our media operations,” said Pres./CEO PETER LIGUORI. “For the quarter, we grew revenues by 6% and consolidated Adjusted EBITDA by 16% year-over-year, due primarily to higher political and digital advertising revenues and increases in retransmission consent and carriage fee revenues. Our results would have been even better but for the TRUMP campaign’s substantially lower than expected spend on television advertising and the fact that our station portfolio does not benefit from OLYMPIC advertising because we have only two relatively small NBC affiliates. Adjusting for the significant impact of core dollars shifting into the OLYMPICS, we estimate that core advertising remained essentially flat in the quarter, consistent with the first half of 2016. Similarly, despite lower overall political spending in the market versus 2012, we significantly increased our political advertising market share, and at this time we estimate that our full-year gross political advertising revenue will be about $161 million, or 97% of our record 2012 total.
“We achieved several important goals this quarter. We renewed the affiliate agreement for roughly half of our FOX television stations on mutually beneficial terms. We struck a favorable retransmission consent and carriage agreement with DISH NETWORK. And we closed several real estate transactions generating $473 million in net pretax proceeds. During the year, we took aggressive steps to identify additional efficiencies in our cost structure, including recent initiatives that we expect to generate $18 million to $20 million in expense savings on an annualized basis going forward, and we expect to continue our cost reduction initiatives into 2017. However, given the unique market dynamics which have impacted the second half of the year, we are revising our full year financial guidance for 2016.”
With the lower political ad revenue, the company's guidance for full year 2016 revenues has been lowered to between $2.147 billion and $2.179 billion, with Television and Entertainment segment revenues to be between $1.885 billion and $1.905 billion and Digital and Data segment revenues to be between $225 million and $235 million.
The TRIBUNE board declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share of common stock, to be paid on DECEMBER 6th to shareholders of record as of NOVEMBER 21st.