TEGNA Revenues Right On Target, With EPS Too


TEGNA earnings, and its growth plan, have come under scrutiny by one renegade shareholder: Soohyung Kim-controlled Standard General.

His efforts to gain influence on corporate decision-making have been thwarted, twice, as shareholders overwhelmingly rejected his TEGNA Board of Directors nominees in 2020 and again in 2021. Now, TEGNA has released another positive quarterly earnings report that further hinders his desire for change at the broadcast TV station owner.

The owner of such stations as WUSA-9 in Washington, D.C., the market’s CBS affiliate, and key NBC affiliates in such markets as Buffalo and Portland, Ore., enjoyed a 6.3% earnings increase in Q1, to $727.05 million, from $684.2 million.

That’s right on the money with respect to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $727 million in revenue.

Net income grew to $112.8 million ($0.51 per diluted share) from $86.2 million ($0.39). That topped the prediction of analysts at JPMorgan, Guggenheim, Wells Fargo Securities and Cannonball, which forecast EPS of $0.49.

The Zacks EPS estimate was for $0.52.

That said, investors should be more than pleased with TEGNA’s quarterly results, in particular on an adjusted basis. Adjusted Operating Income grew to $199.1 million from $179.25 million, while total adjusted EBITDA grew to $230.76 million from $212.37 million.

Importantly, the Advertising and Marketing Services segment saw a 9.4% revenue rise, to $322.83 million from $295.15 million, while Subscription revenue grew to $386.74 million from $332.8 million.

Dave Lougee, the company’s President/CEO, say the report card — along with what’s on tap for Q2 and the remainder of 2021 — “reflect our favorable positioning for continued growth.”

Add in net leverage of 3.82x, and “TEGNA is on track to achieve recently updated full-year net leverage guidance of low 3x” by the start of 2022, the company noted with its Q1 ’21 earnings release early Monday (5/10).