Political revenue of $10.5 million and solid increases in core local and national ad dollars plus a 54% gain in retans pushes net revenue to almost $90 million.
Nexstar Broadcasting Group today reported record financial results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 that included net revenue of $89,952,000, up 20.2% from $74,839,000 in the year-ago quarter. Income from operations for the quarter grew 185% to $23,557,000 from $8,268,000 in the third quarter of 2011.
Among the highlights:
- Core local and national revenue increased 7.4%.
- Political revenue was up 488% to $10.s million.
- Retransmission consent revenue grew 51% to $15.1 million.
- e-Media revenue increased 6.5% to $4.5 million.
- Broadcast cash flow rose 57% to $41 million.
Perry A. Sook, Nexstar chairman, president and CEO, said: “The third quarter was an active and productive period for Nexstar as we again generated record financial results for net revenue, EBITDA, free cash flow and margins. Reflecting the strong operating leverage in our business model, Nexstar’s 20.2% rise in third quarter net revenue resulted in 57% growth in third quarter BCF, a 67% increase in adjusted EBITDA and a 280% rise in free cash flow.
“During the quarter, we and Mission Broadcasting entered into an agreement to acquire twelve Newport Television stations in a highly accretive, transformational transaction that is expected to close later this quarter. The 12 new stations will further expand our operating base and operating leverage and lead to substantial free cash flow growth without materially affecting our leverage profile. Importantly, with expectations for free cash flow accretion in the first year of ownership of the new stations approximately 45% over those of our current operations, Nexstar can significantly reduce leverage while potentially returning capital to shareholders. Our recent work and the results of the additional due diligence on the to-be-acquired stations reinforces our confidence in the anticipated synergies we are forecasting and we look forward to the benefit of the new stations throughout 2013. We also took further actions during and following the end of the quarter to strengthen our capital structure and long-term leverage profile.
“The third quarter marks the company’s twelfth consecutive quarter of core local and national television advertising revenue growth and we continue to attract leading shares of political spending in our markets. Quarterly core television ad revenue rose 7.4%, inclusive of a 30% rise in automotive advertising while political revenue grew nearly six-fold over last year reflecting our strategies to manage inventory to maximize the political revenue opportunity. Television ad revenue in the quarter inclusive of political advertising rose 20.9% and we are pacing toward another period of record political advertising in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“In addition, gross revenue growth in the third quarter excluding political was robust at nearly 11%, reflecting the company’s ongoing success in leveraging the value of our traditional television broadcasting operating model and locally focused content and advertiser relationships into a diversified entity with high margin revenue streams. Taking into consideration the political cycle, our long-term platform-building initiatives, which focus on select strategic and accretive transactions and the expansion of complementary revenue streams, we recorded 13% growth in core television revenue over the same period in 2010 as well as a 51% rise in political revenue, and a 74% increase in combined e-Media and retransmission revenue over the comparable 2010 period. We also achieved impressive growth in cash flows between these periods as highlighted by the nearly 100% increase in free cash flow in the 2012 third quarter compared to the 2010 third quarter.”
Read the company’s report here.