The straight revenue statistics did not paint a particularly pretty picture for Emmis Communications during its initial fiscal quarter of the year, but if recent changes in the company’s station portfolio are factored in, it did OK. Honcho Jeff Smulyan said the quarter was “transformative.”
Smulyan stated that he is happy about the quarter that featured increased revenues across the board, along with nice station ratings increases. The company is beating its markets. This marks the conclusion of six year period during which company has repaid $1.5B in debt, becoming one of the least-leverage players in the business.
Emmis radio revenue for Q1 2012 was $40.376M, down from $45.37M. Publishing was up, to $16.411M from $15.776M, combining for net revenues of $56.787M, down from $61.146M. The loss of revenue amounted to a 7.1% decline.
Radio expenses were down to $30.6M from $32.988M, and publishing was down slightly to $16.244 from $16.346.
Operating income was all but flat, to $2.322M from $2.369M.
The company’s overall loss was reported at $5M compared to $4.6M the previous year. The per-share loss was $0.13, down a penny from the previous year.
The loss was attributed to the deal with Merlin Media in which the major share of stations in Chicago and New York went to the Randy Michaels-led group. Emmis retains a small stake in the two Windy City FMs and the lone Big Apple operation.
Leaving the Merlin stations out of the equation, and the company enjoyed a modest 1.8% $700K improvement in radio revenue during Q1.
The sale of Los Angeles FM KXOS is expected to close within 30 days, and will result in $85.5M in gross proceeds for the company.
Advertising categories: Auto accounted for 10% of income and was up 15%. Other increasing categories included media, entertainment, home improvement, grocery/beverage and health care; while restaurants, wireless and financial suffered declines.