Nexstar 3Q Revenues Fall Mostly on Political

IRVING, TEXAS: Nexstar’s 63 TV stations generated $60.4 million in the third quarter, down 14 percent from the year-ago period revenues of $70.3 million. Lower political spending accounted for $6.8 million of the decline, offsetting a 28 percent increase in revenues from retrans and other initiatives.

“Third-quarter retransmission consent revenues increased 27.4 percent to $7.9 million while e-Media revenues rose 8.8 percent to $3 million,” said Nexstar chief Perry Sook. “While we continue to generate record aggregate quarterly revenue from these sources, Nexstar also recorded approximately $500,000 of management fee revenue in the 2009 third quarter. As a result, despite the unfavorable economic environment, Nexstar’s 2009 revenue comparisons, excluding political, have improved on a quarterly sequential basis throughout the year.

Net loss was $18.4 million versus $45.3 million. Operational loss--sans interest expense and other items--was $13.6 million versus $36.8 million. Nexstar (NASDAQ: NXST) took a $16.2 million impairment charge during 3Q09 compared to a $48.2 million impairment in 3Q08, both related to broadcast licenses.

Sook said Nexstar was seeing improvements in core advertising activity this fall,” and the company was well-positioned to bring in political and Olympic revenues next year. “Looking forward, with Nexstar’s de-leveraging initiatives and streamlined operating and cost structure, we are confident that even modest increases in advertising spending will result in meaningful overall gains in our operating results.”

Nexstar had net debt of $504.5 million at the end of the quarter on Sept. 30, excluding $171.1 million in PIK notes. It’s total leverage ratio was 6.5x, within its permitted covenant of 6.75x.

Shares of the company rose slightly yesterday on a market surge and settled today around $2.50.

More coverage of Nexstar:
August 25, 2009: “Nexstar Shares Move Most on NASDAQ” Nexstar Broadcasting Group shares jumped more than 60 percent in trading today before settling down to a 40 percent gain at around $2.60.

August 12, 2009: “Nexstar Revenues Drop Less Than Most Broadcasters
Nexstar revenues came in at $62.2 million, down 12 percent from $70.6 million.

May 12, 2009: “Nexstar CFO Resigns
Matthew E. Devine, stepped down as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Nexstar Broadcasting.

April 1, 2009: “Nexstar 4Q Revenues Rise
The 50 or so Nexstar Broadcasting TV stations generated revenues of $80.3 million during the three months ending Dec. 31 2008, up 12 percent from a year earlier.

March 23, 2009: “Nexstar to Manage Four Points TV Stations
Under deal terms, Nexstar receives a management fee of $2 million a year plus annual incentive compensation based on cash flow of the stations.