At Radio Pure-Play Saga, Digital A Bigger Earnings Factor


How much better was the second quarter of 2021 for Saga Communications than the same period of 2020?

For starters, there was no $3.76 million impairment charge. Second, net operating revenue rose by 66.3% in Q2 2021. According to CFO Sam Bush, Digital now accounts for 6% of the radio industry pure-play’s total revenue.

The rebound in revenue overshadowed an increase in expenses, allowing Saga to swing from a net loss to healthy income in Q2.

For the three-month period ending June 30, Saga saw net income of $3.25 million ($0.54 per share), swinging from a Q2 2020 net loss of $4.9 million (-$0.82).

Station Operating Income (SOI), a popular non-GAAP measure, surged to $8.38 million, compared to -$181,000 in Q2 2020.

With “a great deal of cash liquidity” one of Saga’s biggest strength, CEO Ed Christian hunkered down across the pandemic. As the economy reopened across its markets, the situation began to improve by leaps and bounds, leading Saga on June 21 to reinstate its quarterly dividend.

That liquidity, along with a stunning low leverage ratio of x0.51, make Saga unique among its peers — for good reason.

SGA was trading at $21.80, up 44 cents, on low volume as of 11:40am Thursday (8/5).