Political Power Helps Nexstar Cuts Losses

Debt paid down by $24.4 million
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IRVING, TEXAS: Nexstar cut its losses in the third quarter on stronger cash flow powered by political spending. The TV station group reported a net loss of nearly $3 million on revenues of $73.1 million for 3Q10, compared to a loss of $18.4 million on $60 million last year. Broadcast cash flow grew 55 percent to $28.8 million, fed by a 565 percent boost in political spending totaling $6.7 million.

“Core local and national revenue increased for the fourth consecutive quarter,” said Nexstar chief Perry Sook. “Local advertising, our largest revenue source, grew at a higher rate in the third quarter than in the second quarter or the first half of 2010, despite tougher prior year comps. The automotive advertising rebound continues with category revenue rising 33 percent on a year-over-year basis and reaching the highest quarterly dollar level thus far in 2010.”

Across Nexstar’s 62 TV stations, e-Media revenues rose 21 percent to $3.6 million. Retransmission was up 23 percent to $7.6 million. Management fee revenues rose 60 percent to $800,000, while “other” revenues rose 46 percent to $568,000. Network compensation revenues dropped 3 percent to $500,000.

Nexstar finished the quarter with $17.8 million in cash versus $12.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2009. Total debt was $646 million versus $670.4 million at the end of 2009. Shares of Nexstar (NASDAQ: NXST) remained relatively flat at around $5.83.
-- Deborah D. McAdams