IRVING, TEXAS: Nexstar’s 62 TV stations pulled off a record quarter but swung back to a loss for the first quarter of 2010. Net loss was $3.67 million, or 13 cents a share, on revenues of $68.6 million, up 24 percent from a year ago and a new high for the company. Nexstar posted a profit of $6 million a year ago. The loss this year appears to be attributable to debt refinancing costs.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were up 180 percent to nearly $21 million. Broadcast cash flow--EBITDA plus corporate expenses--was up 80 percent to $25.6 million. Free cash flow was $8.9 million compared to a negative of $3.5 million.
Retransmission fee revenue rose 40 percent to $7.4 million, “a record level of quarterly revenue from this source,” said Nexstar chief Perry A. Sook. E-Media revenues rose 26 percent to $3 million, Nextar’s 14th consecutive period of revenue growth for its community Web portals.
“The expected revenue increases combined with operating and cost efficiencies and limited 2010 cap-ex commitments positions Nexstar to generate record free cash flow in 2010 which will be deployed for debt reduction and new value creating initiatives,” Sook said.
During the quarter, Nexstar repurchased $1 million of its outstanding 13 percent senior subordinated payment-in-kind notes due 2014 at a discount. It also completed a $325 million offering of 8.875 percent senior secured second-lien notes due 2017. Net proceeds, borrowings and cash on hand went to repurchased about $34.3 million of the remaining 13 percent PIK notes, to refinance Nexstar’s existing senior secured credit facilities and for general corporate purposes.
As of March 31, 2010, Nexstar’s total debt pro forma of financings within the quarter was $679.7 million, bringing its leverage ratio to 8.53x, within its permitted covenant ratio of 10.25x.
Shares of Nexstar (NASDAQ: NXST) rose nearly 9 percent to $6.25 in today’s trading.
-- Deborah D. McAdams
March 9, 2010: “Nexstar Swings to Profit in 4Q”
Nexstar’s 63 TV stations generated net income of $967,000 on revenues of $73.9 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2009.
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