Indianapolis… Emmis Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: EMMS) today announced results for its first fiscal quarter ended May 31, 2008.
“I’m proud of the results our Emmis team was able to deliver during the first quarter,” Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said. “Five percent growth in operating income during such a challenging period for American media is a testament to the talent and professionalism of our team. I’m particularly thrilled with the performance of some of our newer initiatives, including the 14 percent growth during the quarter in our International revenues, the launch of the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, and the growing roster of new customers at Emmis Interactive.”
For the first fiscal quarter, net revenue was $86.8 million, compared to $87.3 million for the same quarter of the prior year.
Diluted net loss per common share from continuing operations improved to ($0.05), compared to ($0.07) for the same quarter of the prior year.
For the first quarter, radio net revenues decreased 1 percent, while publishing net revenues were up 2 percent. On a pro forma basis, publishing net revenues were down 5 percent. Domestic radio net revenues decreased 3 percent during the quarter, slightly outperforming its markets, which Miller Kaplan reported down 4 percent for the quarter.
For the first quarter, operating income improved to $12.6 million, compared to $12.1 million for the same quarter of the prior year. Emmis’ station operating income also improved during the first quarter to $23.3 million, compared to $22.5 million for the same quarter of the prior year.
Emmis has included supplemental pro forma net revenues, station operating expenses, and certain other financial data on its website, www.emmis.com under the “Investors” tab.
International radio net revenues and station operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortization, for the quarter ended May 31, 2008 were $9.3 million and $6.8 million, respectively, representing an increase of 14 percent and 16 percent, respectively, over the same period of the prior year.
During the quarter, the Company announced that Emmis Interactive, a wholly owned subsidiary of Emmis Communication Corporation, would begin to market its services to radio broadcasters and other local media companies. Since that announcement, Emmis Interactive has announced agreements with broadcasters Renda Broadcasting, Big League Broadcasting and Lincoln Financial Media, as well as announcing a licensing agreement with the iTunes Store to market Emmis Interactive’s custom Storefront technology to other radio stations and media companies.
Also during the quarter, Emmis announced that it has joined seven other radio companies in launching the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, LLC (BTC), a company formed to build a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute NAVTEQ traffic and other map-related data via radio technology. Founding members of BTC are Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio, Inc.; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications Corp.; Greater Media; NPR and Radio One. Other participating broadcasters include Lincoln Financial Media, Cumulus Media, Hubbard Broadcasting and Cobalt Operating, LLC. Emmis VP of Integrated Technologies Paul Brenner serves as BTC’s president.
On May 2, 2008, Emmis entered into a definitive agreement to sell its sole remaining television station, WVUE-TV in New Orleans. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of calendar 2008. Gross proceeds from the sale of the company’s 16 television stations were $1.24 billion.
Subsequent to the quarter’s end, Emmis Publishing suspended publication of Tu Ciudad Los Angeles because the magazine’s financial performance did not meet the Company’s expectations. Emmis expects to record a charge of approximately $1.1 million related to severance and other shut-down costs during its quarter ended Aug. 31, 2008.
The following table reconciles reported results to pro forma results (dollars in thousands):
Emmis will host a call regarding this information on Thursday, July 10 at 9 a.m. Eastern at 1.517.623.4891, with a replay available through Thursday, July 17 at 1.203.369.0399. Listen online at www.emmis.com.
Emmis generally evaluates the performance of its operating entities based on station operating income. Management believes that station operating income is useful to investors because it provides a meaningful comparison of operating performance between companies in the industry and serves as an indicator of the market value of a group of stations or publishing entities. Station operating income is generally recognized by the broadcast and publishing industries as a measure of performance and is used by analysts who report on the performance of broadcasting and publishing groups. Station operating income does not take into account Emmis’ debt service requirements and other commitments, and, accordingly, station operating income is not necessarily indicative of amounts that may be available for dividends, reinvestment in Emmis’ business or other discretionary uses.
Station operating income is not a measure of liquidity or of performance, in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, and should be viewed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, our results of operations presented on the basis of accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Moreover, station operating income is not a standardized measure and may be calculated in a number of ways. Emmis defines station operating income as revenues net of agency commissions and station operating expenses, excluding non-cash compensation.
Emmis Communications – Great Media, Great People, Great Service®
Emmis is an Indianapolis-based diversified media firm with radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and magazine publishing operations. Emmis owns 21 FM and 2 AM domestic radio stations serving the nation’s largest markets of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as St. Louis, Austin, Indianapolis and Terre Haute, Ind. Emmis also owns a radio network, international radio stations, regional and specialty magazines, an interactive business and ancillary businesses in broadcast sales.
The information in this news release is being widely disseminated in accordance with the Securities & Exchange Commission’s Regulation FD.
Note: Certain statements included in this report or in the financial statements contained herein which are not statements of historical fact, including but not limited to those identified with the words “expect,” “will” or “look” are intended to be, and are, by this Note, identified as “forward-looking statements,” as defined in the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future result, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward-looking statement. Such factors include, among others:
• general economic and business conditions;
• fluctuations in the demand for advertising and demand for different types of advertising media;
• our ability to service our outstanding debt;
• increased competition in our markets and the broadcasting industry;
• our ability to attract and secure programming, on-air talent, writers and photographers;
• inability to obtain (or to obtain timely) necessary approvals for purchase or sale transactions or to complete the transactions for other reasons generally beyond our control;
• increases in the costs of programming, including on-air talent;
• inability to grow through suitable acquisitions;
• changes in audience measurement systems
• new or changing regulations of the Federal Communications Commission or other governmental agencies;
• competition from new or different technologies;
• war, terrorist acts or political instability; and
• other factors mentioned in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Emmis does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements because of new information, future events or otherwise.