Net revenue was down, but so were expenses, and that allowed some of the other metrics to be recorded in black ink. CEO David Field said that radio as a whole was thriving in a “thriving audio landscape.”
Entercom released the following key stats:
* Net revenues for the quarter decreased 2% to $78.4 million
* Station expenses decreased 3% to $57.9 million
* Station operating income was flat at $20.5 million
* Adjusted EBITDA increased 1% to $15.3 million
* Adjusted net income per share was $0.02
* Free cash flow increased from $1.2 million to $3.9 million
Field commented, “Entercom’s first quarter Adjusted EBITDA grew 1% and Free Cash Flow more than doubled as effective cost management offset a 2% decline in revenues. We continue to focus on investing in our brands, our talent and our digital platforms to strengthen our value proposition to our listeners and customers and bolster our future growth. Industry fundamentals are improving as the pace of industry innovation accelerates and broadcast radio listenership continues to grow within the thriving audio landscape.”
Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker said that the revenues were in line with expectations, but the efficient cost control practices were a surprise which permitted the company to beat predictions on the bottom line.
However, Ryvicker said pacings are on the disappointing side, and “erring on the side of caution,” the firm is pulling back its predictions for results going forward. For example, revenue expectations have moved from $385M-$396M down to $380M-$388M and EBITDA from $105M-$110M to $100M-$105M.
Ryvicker noted that the focus on controlling expenses will not create enough room to make up for weak pacing as the company appears to be facing a challenging second quarter. Overall, the company is rated market perform.