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SmarTrend: Nexstar Leads Top Five in Debt-to-Asset Ratio

NEW YORK: The stock watchers at SmarTrend released what they say are the top five broadcast groups in terms of debt-to-asset ratio. The metric indicates how much debt a company has compared to the value of its assets. A 1.0 equates 100 percent.

SmarTrend said Nexstar Broadcasting Group is tops with a 1.06x based on total debt of $646 million. Shares of Irving, Texas-based Nexstar (NASDAQ:NXST) were trading today at around $5.67, up 40 percent year-to-date. It posted a third-quarter loss of nearly $3 million on revenues of $73.1 million. Nexstar posted record revenues of $74.5 million for the second quarter of 2010. The company has 62 TV stations and a stable of Internet properties.

LIN TV’s debt/asset radio is 0.82x based on total debt of $641.3 million. LIN shares (NYSE:TVL) dipped briefly below $4.85 this morning before returning to around $4.94, where they’ve been since Tuesday. The stock is up around 11 percent year-to-date. LIN beat the Street by more than $2 million in 3Q10 with net revenues up 27 percent to $103.6 million. Providence, R.I.’s LIN has 32 TV stations and several digital properties.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is at 0.81x based on total debt of $1.2 billion. Sinclair (NASDAQ:SBGI) is trading at $8.09, down from a Tuesday morning spike of nearly $8.40 as it grapples with Time Warner over a retransmission standoff involving its 20 Fox affiliates. Shares nevertheless are up more than 100 percent year-to-date. Hunt Valley, Md.-based Sinclair’s 58 TV stations generated $14.3 million in profit on revenues of $158.8 million in the third quarter.

Entercom Communications, a radio broadcaster in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., stands at 0.76x based on total debt of $688.8 million. Entercom(NYSE:ETM) shares spiked up to $9.67 today before plunging briefly to $9.36, then bouncing back to $9.53. Shares year-to-date are up 35 percent.

Radio One on Lanham, Md., has a debt/asset ratio of 0.63x based on total debt of $653.1 million. Radio One (NASDAQ:ROIAK) shares were trading this morning at $1.03, down nearly 65 percent yeat-to-date.
-- Deborah D. McAdams