Smaller markets have been outperforming the big ones, so Regent Communications CEO Bill Stakelin was happy to report that his company outperformed the radio industry with Q4 same-station revenues up 2.8% to 19.7 million and station operating income up a whopping 8.8% to 7.4 million, easily the best showing of any public radio company. On an as reported basis, Regent’s Q4 revenues were down slightly to 24.9 million from 25.0 million. And while Q1 is expected to be down in the low single digits, Regent management said 10 of its 12 markets were up in February after a soft start in January.
Stakelin and CFO Tony Vasconcellos refused to reply specifically when one analyst asked about rumors that the company had said no to two separate buyout offers that valued Regent well above its stock price, but Stakelin did go so far as to suggest that the analyst may have “some wrong or misinformation.” The two executives insisted that creating shareholder value is something they think about every day. Stakelin also said that the two new board members from dissident shareholder Riley Investment Partners have been “positive” for Regent since joining the board.
For Q1, Regent is telling Wall Street to expect same station revenues and station operating income to both be down in the low single digits.