The final three months of 2017 resulted in mixed results for Christian and conservative-focused Salem Media Group.
The first three months of 2018 on Wall Street for the Southern California-based company haven’t exactly been mixed. In fact, they’ve been decisively dismal, with Salem shares falling to another five-year low in Thursday’s trading on Wall Street.
With higher-than-average volume of 209,824 shares, compared to normal volume of 62,003 shares, Salem finished on Thursday at $3.35 per share, falling 5.6%.
There was no apparent reason for the sharp dip.
However, investors may still be less-than-pleased with the company following the release of its Q4 2018 results.
The Camarillo, Calif.-based owner of radio stations and a publishing arm saw its net broadcast revenue fall to $50.7 million, from $52.2 million, in Q4. Digital media revenue was also down, leading to a consolidated net revenue loss.
Net income was on the rise, but it is all thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Without a big tax benefit from the legislation passed in fall 2017, Salem would have swung to a net loss of $18,000, from net income of $1.42 million. Instead, a $22.38 tax benefit helped Salem achieve net income of $22.36 million (85 cents per diluted share), up from $2.97 million (11 cents) in Q4 2016.
Meanwhile, investors may be placing extra scrutiny on Salem for its expansion in both Portland, Ore., and Little Rock.
On March 23, 2018, a deal was struck that sees it acquiring KDXE-AM 1380 in North Little Rock, Ark., and its FM translator, K288EZ at 105.5 MHz for $180,000.
As reported by RBR+TVBR in October 2017, Pamplin agreed to sell Class B KPAM-AM 860 — a 50kw daytime/15kw nighttime facility in Portland, Ore. — and Class B KKOV-AM “Sunny 1550” in Vancouver, Wash.,— to Intelli for $1.2 million. That deal saw Salem enter into an LMA agreement allowing it to control KPAM (now branded as “The Answer”). KKOV is now airing Asian-language brokered programming.