3Q revenue was 8.2% lower in 2008 than during the same period in 2007, down $2.7M to $30.6M, but belt tightening and reduced credit expense allowed improvement in both the operating income and net income categories. Operating was up $900K to $6M, and net revenue was up 133.6% to $2.3M.
Bruce Beasley said the company will continue to focus on cost containment while maintaining quality and keeping in close touch with advertising clients, to make sure that the company is well-positioned when the general economy comes back.
Caroline Beasley noted that the company was down 3% in July and 10% in both August and September. Although the company picked up $400K in political advertising, mostly in September, it experienced losses in its top categories, including -9% in retail, -30% in automotive and -7% in restaurant. Cancellations have also been a problem, according to Bruce, but seem to have stabilized for the moment.
The company declined to speculate on future performance, although Caroline admitted that thanks to the economy, pacings do not look good at the moment.
RBR/TVBR observation: We think Beasley has it about right. Tighten your belt, fasten your seatbelt, make sure you keep up on maintenance and hang on for a rough ride. There’s a smoother road out there somewhere, and the trick is to be one of the drivers still on the road when we get there.