TV Advertising Drives Sinclair’s Second-Quarter Boost

BALTIMORE: Cars are back big at Sinclair Broadcast Group TV stations. The advertising segment grew 46 percent over last year for the quarter ending June 30, 2010.

“Broadcast television advertising continues to grow, an indicator that the economy is showing signs of recovery,” said Sinclair chief David Smith. “In the second quarter, we experienced gains in nearly all of our major core advertising categories, with the largest growth coming from the automotive sector.”

Sinclair’s 58 TV stations generated $185.6 million versus $158.3 million last year for the quarter. Net income was nearly $17 million versus $2.6 million last year.

Political revenues were $3.8 million for the quarter versus $700,000 last year. Local net broadcast revenues, including time sales and retransmission, were up nearly 17 percent. National net revenues were up 28 percent.

“The third quarter’s core advertising sales are on pace to not only exceed the same period in 2008 by approximately 9 percent growth, but also to approximate the current year’s second-quarter core business, which is typically one of our stronger quarters in any given year,” Smith said.

Sinclair (NASDAQ: SBGI) finished the quarter with cash and equivalents of $65.3 million versus $90.2 million March 31, 2010. Long-term debt was $1.25 billion versus $1.28 billion. Shares of Sinclair gained 7 percent on today’s news to reach $6.41. SBGI stock has made a year-to-date gain of nearly 60 percent.

In separate news, Sinclair said it was refinancing part of its bank credit facility. The company said it proposed to raise a $270 million tranche B term loan for maturity in October 2015, to repay the existing $305 million tranch B, also maturing in October 2015. The proposal would give Sinclair more flexible terms and greater incremental loan capacity.
-- Deborah D. McAdams