03.04.2011 01:25 PM
Fisher Logs Best Quarter in 10 Years

SEATTLE: Revenue at Fisher’s 20 TV stations increased 61 percent year-over-year for the fourth quarter of 2010, helping generate the best quarter in a decade. Total TV revenues were $46.8 million compared to $29 million last year. Consolidated revenue for Fishers TV, radio and real estate holdings totaled $57.6 million, up 49 percent from 4Q09. Net income was $8.3 million compared to $1.1 million a year earlier. The overall increase was attributed to strong political advertising.

“We are very pleased with our fourth quarter results, which reflect Fisher’s highest quarterly revenue during the past 10 years,” Fisher chief Colleen B. Brown said. “The continued improvements within our traditional broadcast business and digital portfolio contributed to a very strong year in terms of operational performance, profitability and cash flow. We plan to leverage these strengths as we continue to transform Fisher into a more highly diversified local media company. In 2011, we are focused on using our multiplatform offering to aggressively strengthen our position and pursue a larger share of audience and local advertising in the markets we serve.”

Core TV advertising--local and national--increased 9 percent to $25 million. Political grew by $14 million to $15.2 million for the quarter. Retransmission revenue grew $569,000 to $3 million. The auto and retail categories grew 13 and 15 percent respectively. Professional services grew 3 percent. TV cash flow increased by $15.3 million to $20.4 million. Income from operations increased from $3.8 million to $17.1 million. Internet revenue more than doubled to $1.1 million, or 2.4 percent of TV revenue.

For the full fiscal year, Fisher had consolidated revenues of $175.9 million, up 32 percent from 2009. Net income was $9.7 million compared to a loss of $9.3 million the year earlier. Net income included the $2.1 million pre-tax gain on exchange of broadcast equipment and the $3.4 million pre-tax gain from net insurance reimbursements received from the company's Fisher Plaza electrical fire insurance claim.

Shares of Fisher (NASDAQ: FSCI) rose around 4 percent on its results to trade at $27.50.

-- Deborah D. McAdams

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