Sales at the dominant radio operation were up 5% due to increases in national advertising, the company said. It offered no discussion of its smaller TV division in this morning’s earnings release
Clear Channel Communications reported this morning that its revenue for the third quarter rose 7% over the prior year period to $1.8 billion, while its income (before discontinued operations) increased 8% to $185.9 million.
One measure of profitability that Clear Channel likes to employ—OIBDAN—rose 10% in the quarter year-over-year to $595.4 million. OIBDAN is operating income before depreciation and amortization, non-cash compensation expense and gain (or loss) from the disposition of assets.
“We are one of the best performing companies in the media industry,” said CEO Mark Mays in a prepared statement. “We are capitalizing on our diverse portfolio of out-of-home media properties to meet the shifting demands in the global media marketplace.
“Our radio division once again outperformed the industry,” he said. “Our outdoor division continues its track record of robust growth, posting considerable revenue gains year-over-year.”
Clear Channel owns 40 TV stations in 25 markets, but financial results of the TV division are dwarfed by those of the massive radio and outdoor advertising arms and reported in an “other” category.
In its press release this morning, Clear Channel offered no discussion of its TV station division, but revenue from “other,” which is mostly television, rose 10% year-over-year to $143.5 million, while its OIBDAN grew 30% to $28.9 million.
Clear Channel said that radio revenue grew 5% in the quarter to $962.1 million due primarily to an increase in national advertising revenue accompanied by increases in yield and average unit rates, while radio OIBDAN rose 6% to $394.4 million. The company cited auto, entertainment and retail as strong categories.
Providing “color” on this morning conference all with securities analysts, Mays said that radio saw growth across all “revenue streams” during the quarter, including local, national, networks, traffic and the Internet.
Sales were soft in September, the last month of the quarter, Mays said, but pacings for the fourth quarter are up 8.8% over the last quarter of 2005, “which we feel really good about.”
Political will be a contributor to radio in the fourth quarter, but, at only $12 million-$15 million, not a “major” one, Mays said, noting that it generated about $6 million-$7 million in the third quarter.
At the outset of the conference call, Clear Channel made clear that it would not discuss last week’s announcement that it had hired Goldman Sachs to review ”strategic alternatives,” which analysts said could include a sale of the company to a private equity firms or a buy-out by the founding Mays family.