The broadcast group posts gains in revenues and broadcast cash flow as it continues liquidating its assets. Its net loss for the first quarter of 2011 was $1.7 million compared to a $1.9 million net loss for the first quarter of 2010. The board approves a 35-cents-per-share distribution.
Acme Station Revenue Up 2% In 1Q
Acme Communications today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31. Net revenues from continuing operations increased 5% to $3.5 million for the first quarter compared to net revenues of $3.3 million in the first quarter of 2010. Continuing stations’ revenues increased 2% and revenues at the company’s syndicated The Daily Buzz increased 16% for the quarter compared to the prior year quarter.
Total operating costs decreased 4% to $3.9 million for the first quarter compared to $4.0 million for the first quarter of 2010. This decrease is mainly related to cost savings at KWBQ-KASY Albuquerque, N.M., derived from its shared services agreement with LIN and reduced compensation expense.
Station cash-based operating expenses, decreased 11% to $2 million compared to the first quarter of 2010 due to the reasons stated above. Resulting continuing operations broadcast cash flow for the quarter increased to $207,000 compared to negative broadcast cash flow of $121,000 for the first quarter of 2010.
Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations also improved, increasing to negative $156,000 compared to EBITDA of negative $510,000 for the first quarter of 2010 on improved broadcast cash flow.
The company’s loss before income taxes from discontinued operations for the first quarter of 2011 was $296,000 compared to a loss before income taxes from discontinued operations of $329,000 for the first quarter of 2010, principally on lower expenses related to the LIN shared-services agreement.
Acme’s net loss for the first quarter of 2011 was $1.7 million compared to a $1.9 million net loss for the first quarter of 2010.
Acme also announced that its board of directors has approved a special cash distribution of $.35 per share representing the return to its shareholders of a meaningful portion of the net cash proceeds received from the sale of three stations previously announced on May 24. The distribution will be payable to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 30, 2011 and paid on July 14, 2011.
During the second quarter of 2011, Acme completed the sale of three of its stations: WBXX Knoxville, Tenn.; WBDT Dayton, Ohio; and WCWF (formerly WIWB) Green Bay-Appleton, Wis. The results of those stations are treated as discontinued operations for all periods presented. Continuing operations now consists of the company’s television duopoly in Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M., its television station in Madison, Wis., and its Daily Buzz production entity in Orlando, Fla.
Commenting on the quarter’s results, Doug Gealy, Acme’s president-CEO, said, “Market conditions continue to improve and we are cautiously optimistic that this positive trend will continue at our three remaining continuing stations and The Daily Buzz through the remainder of the year, though we are seeing softness in the second quarter in the automotive category. Our recently completed station sales were pinnacle events for the company and we are delighted to be in a position to declare this special distribution to our shareholders, which represents our first distribution since we returned $.50 per share to shareholders in 2007 following the sale of our Ft. Myers station.
“In pursuit of our exit strategy and in light of the scaled operations we have initiated further changes at our corporate office resulting in pro forma annualized savings of nearly $300,000. Following the successful sale of the restricted LIN shares that we received in connection with our WBDT and WCWF stations sale, which are subject to a required six-month holding period, we expect to make another distribution to our shareholders in the latter part of the year or first quarter of 2012. In the meantime, we will remain focused on prudently liquidating our remaining assets.”