Saga Q2 up slightly; forecast: "party cloudy" (audio)


Saga Communications’ net operating revenue was up 0.9% to $33.2 million, while station operating expense increased 2.0% compared to Q2 2010 to $23.6 million.  Operating income was $7.6 million compared to $7.8 million for the same period last year. Q2 net income was $3.17 million or $0.75 per share, down from $3.70 million or $0.87 per share in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.84 per share for the quarter.

Because the numbers were a bit more encouraging, the company reinstated in April of half of its previous 5% pay cuts in 2009. SVP/CFO Sam Bush estimated the reinstatement had some $150K-$160K to expenses in the six-month period to date.

National ad sales accounted for some 14.8% of gross revenue for the quarter, compared to 14.1% last year.

Revenue for its five TV and four LPTV stations increased 8.1%, to $4.6 million from $4.2 million in the quarter ended last year. Operating income for the stations rose 6.3% to $953,000 from $896,000, while operating expenses grew 8.6% to $3.6 million from $3.3 million.

Saga Networks’ net revenues for the quarter were $1.3 million for the quarter, compared to $1.2 million last year. Networks are reported as part of the Radio segment.

Free cash flow increased 10.2% to $6.3 million for the quarter, compared to $5.7 million for the same period in 2010. Capital expenditures in Q2 were $1.4 million compared to $1.3 million for the same period last year.  The company currently expects to spend approximately $5.5 million for capital expenditures during 2011. 

CEO Ed Christian had some interesting insights on how the economy is influencing numbers at the group—along with a weather forecast of “partly cloudy.” Listen to the audio, above.