2010 revenues gained 6.3-6.7% for The Nielsen Company


Because of the ongoing roadshow for its coming $2 billion IPO, The Nielsen Company has issued an early look at its 2010 full year financial results. Both the Buy (consumer sales) and Watch (media measurement) units gained, although the early release contains few details.

Total revenues for the past year are expected to be in a range of $5.11-5.13 billion when the final tally is complete, Nielsen said on Tuesday (1/18). That would be an increase of 6.3-6.7% from 2009 revenues of $4.81 billion. A lot of Nielsen’s business is outside the US, so on a constant currency basis the gain would be 5.8-6.2%.

Operating income calculated in according with GAAP is expected to be $715-735 million. That’s a huge improvement from operating income of only $116 million for 2009, but in line with the $515 million reported for the first nine months of 2010.

In the announcement of preliminary 2010 results, filed as a supplement to the pending IPO, The Nielsen Company said the factors driving growth were consistent with those discussed when the company reported its Q3 results. “These results are primarily driven by the growth of revenues in the Watch and Buy segments, as well as cost savings from productivity initiatives, offset in part by investments in technology infrastructure initiatives,” said the Tuesday announcement.

Nielsen said it was not yet able to provide an estimate for 2010 net income. It expects to complete its 2010 financial results by sometime in February.

RBR-TVBR observation:  Nielsen’s IPO is on track to be priced the last week of this month – most likely Wednesday, January 26th. It will be the first IPO of 2011 above the $1 billion level and may set the stage for renewed interest in media-related stock issues. As noted a few days ago, Groupon is already testing the waters for its own $1 billion-plus IPO and Pandora may also try to go public, although at a much lower valuation.