With a shareholder buyout offer from Cox Enterprises pending, Cox Radio management did not conduct a quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts. But the company did issue its quarterly results, with revenues down 22.8% and station operating income dropping 58.6%.
While Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil typically has lots to say about business trends and his views of the radio industry in his conference calls, there was none of that in the straight facts and figures release. And, of course, no guidance regarding Q2 or beyond.
The release did note that Cox Radio had been buying back shares of its own stock in Q1, although that stopped in early March before the Cox Enterprises bid was issued. Cox Radio purchased approximately 900,000 shares of its stock in Q1 for about $4.9 million, including commissions and fees.
Because of the pending buyout offer at $4.80 per share, Cox Radio had already provided a preliminary look at its Q1 numbers. As previously indicated, net revenues were down 22.8% to $75.5 million. Providing some additional detail, local was down 21.1% and national 32.4% for the quarter. “Other” revenues, including Internet and other NTR, decreased 13.3%.
Station operating income (SOI), which was not included in the earlier announcement, was down 58.6% to just under $15 million. Cox Radio noted that its SOI margin fell to 19.8% from 37% a year ago. The company till generated significant free cash flow, $9.4 million, although that was down 57.3% from a year earlier.