Is David Field the radio industry’s new King of the Mountain? Many on Wall Street, along with several industry observers RBR+TVBR has spoken with in 2017, say yes.
Entercom‘s Q3 earnings results also suggest that the company’s President/CEO is not only a strong leader for the company merging with CBS Radio in less than three weeks, but also a strong industry champion that can loudly tout the enduring ROI abilities of AM, FM and its digital components.
Just before Thursday’s Opening Bell on Wall Street, Entercom dropped its Q3 results: Its earnings per share beat the street by 2 cents, and its revenue in Q3 surpassed street expectations by nearly $1 million.
Here’s the skinny on Entercom: Net revenue climbed to $122.3 million, from $121.6 million. But, station expenses were also up — to $87.5 million, from $83.7 million.
This played a large part in lower operating income in Q3 of $13.5 million, compared to $25.7 million. At the same time, the all-important Station Operating Income for Entercom was down to $34.8 million, from $37.9 million.
This played a part in Entercom’s net income decline in Q3, moving to $3.44 million (9 cents) from $10.9 million (28 cents).
But, Entercom reports adjusted net income, and this is what investors largely look at: ANI dipped to $9.7 million (24 cents), from $10.8 million (27 cents).
That’s what beat the street, even as adjusted EBITDA fell to $26.7 million, from $30.4 million.
While Entercom performed better than expected by Wall Street analysts, Entercom shareholders immediately went into “sell mode” after the Opening Bell on Wall Street, with Thursday trading for Entercom immediately in the negative. At 9:40am, ETM shares were off 2.8%, to $10.45.
Briefly commenting ahead of his company’s quarterly conference call with the investment community, Field turned his attention to yesterday’s rapid-fire midday announcements that Entercom’s merger with CBS Radio has cleared the Department of Justice. In order to do so, it engaged in a four-market swap of stations with iHeartMedia, traded away WMJX-FM 106.7 in Boston to Beasley Media Group in exchange of $12 million and WBZ-FM 98.5, and struck what appears to be a temporary arrangement with Bonneville International that will allow the Salt Lake City-based media company to operate the stations Entercom is divesting in San Francisco and Sacramento via an LMA for up to 12 months.
“These are exciting times at Entercom as we count down the days before closing our game-changing merger with CBS Radio,” Field said. “Entercom will be one of the radio industry’s two largest companies with an extraordinary lineup of highly rated, award winning radio stations, digital platforms and live events and a robust set of meaningful scale-driven value-creation opportunities. We are looking forward to deploying our extensive plans to drive growth in the business through a significant series of enhancements and investments across the organization.”