Indianapolis…Emmis Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: EMMS) today announced results for its fourth fiscal quarter and full year ended Feb. 29, 2008.
“Our Emmis team delivered great results during our fiscal fourth quarter under very difficult operating conditions,” Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said. “Each of our businesses showed remarkable progress. Pro forma net revenues were up 3% in domestic radio, 4% in publishing, 9% at our discontinued operation WVUE-TV in New Orleans, and an astounding 31% in international radio. The people of Emmis continue to demonstrate the spirit and commitment to lead the next leg of media growth. Through innovative efforts to architect media’s digital future, such as our leadership in forming the Broadcasters Traffic Consortium or the launch of a standalone Emmis Interactive to serve other media clients, Emmis is continually investing in new ways to reinvent media. These initiatives demonstrate that Emmis not only delivered great results this quarter but stands poised to grow in the quarters and years to come.”
For the fourth fiscal quarter, reported net revenues were $85.8 million, compared to $78.6 million for the same quarter of the prior year, an increase of 9%. On a pro forma basis, net revenues increased 7%.
Diluted net loss per common share from continuing operations for the quarter was $0.53, compared to a loss of $0.23 for the same quarter of the prior year. During the fourth quarter, the Company recorded an impairment loss related to its broadcast licenses of $21.2 million, or $0.35 per share.
For the fourth quarter, Emmis’ operating loss was $13.0 million, inclusive of the impairment loss, compared to operating income of $3.9 million for the same quarter of the prior year. Emmis’ station operating income for the fourth quarter was $18.6 million, compared to $15.0 million for the same quarter of the prior year.
Emmis has included supplemental pro forma information 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 Feb. 29, 2008, were $13.3 million (up 36%) and $7.7 million (up 11%). On Dec. 17, the company announced that it had acquired Inforadio, a national radio chain broadcasting in 13 Bulgarian cities.
On Feb. 6, Emmis announced it had changed the format of its New York City radio station, formerly known as WQCD (smooth jazz), to 101.9 WRXP, The New York Rock Experience, a new Adult Rock station in the New York tri-state market which merges New Music, Classic Rock, Alternative and Local Rock into a new adult blend called “The New York Rock Experience.”
Subsequent to quarter end, the company announced its role in the launch of the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, LLC (BTC), which will build a first-of-its-kind nationwide network to distribute traffic data via radio technology. Led by eight leading radio companies, BTC is working with NAVTEQ, a leading global provider of digital maps and traffic for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions. BTC will use HD Radio® technology to broadcast real-time NAVTEQ Traffic and other location-based information to portable navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems. The high bandwidth capacity provided via HD Radio technology will enable consumers to obtain high-quality, up-to-date information including traffic flow and points of interest when and where they need it most.
Also subsequent to quarter end, the company announced an agreement to sell its remaining television station, WVUE-TV in New Orleans, to Louisiana Media Company, LLC, which is principally owned by Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints. The purchase price is $41 million, with after-tax proceeds expected to be approximately $35.5 million. In addition, Emmis will retain net working capital, which is expected to be approximately $4 million. The transaction, subject to customary conditions (including approval from the Federal Communications Commission) is expected to close in the second half of the calendar year.
The following table reconciles reported results to pro forma results (dollars in thousands):
Beginning in its quarter ending May 31, 2008, Emmis will record the direct overhead expenses of our domestic and international radio operations as a component of radio station operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortization. Previously, these costs were a component of corporate expenses excluding depreciation and amortization. The amount that Emmis recorded in the quarter ended May 31, 2007 and the year ended February 29, 2008 for these expenses was $0.6 million and $2.2 million, respectively.
Emmis will host a call regarding this information on Monday, May 12, at 9 a.m. Eastern at 1.517.623.4891, with a replay available through Monday, May 19, at 1.203.369.1082. 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 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 release or in the attached financial data 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;
• 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.