Beasley Q1 up 1.1% to $23.3 million (audio)


Caroline BeasleyBeasley Broadcast Group credits its $0.2 million, or 1.1% increase in Q1 net revenue to revenues at its Fayetteville, NC cluster. The $0.3 million, or 6.0% YOY improvement in Q1 operating income is due to revenue growth as well as a 0.3% reduction in total operating expenses during the period. The Q1 operating expense reduction primarily reflects a 17.0% decline in depreciation and amortization expense.

Q1 station operating income (SOI) rose $0.2 million, or 2.3%, to $7.8 million compared with the Q1 2011 as the net revenue increase during the quarter more than offset a 0.5% rise in station operating expenses in Q1 2012.

The 55.4% growth in Q1 net income reflects the higher operating income and a $1.0 million, or 43.1% YOY reduction in interest expense as a result of lower outstanding credit facility balances and the expiration of swap agreements at the end of the first and third quarters of 2011, which more than offset a $0.5 million, or 51.6%, increase in income tax expense. Reflecting the higher net income levels, net income per basic and diluted share for the 2012 first quarter rose 57.1% to $0.11 from $0.07 in the year-earlier period.

Listen to EVP/CFO Caroline Beasley’s comments, below. She discusses political revenues; what clusters were up (and down); what revenue streams were strong; national vs. local numbers, pacing and ratings info; what categories were strong and more:

[audio:Caroline-Beasley-042712.mp3|titles= Caroline Beasley, CFO, Beasley]

Said George Beasley, Chairman and CEO: “First quarter revenue growth reflects improved economic conditions in some of our markets, most notably Fayetteville where our market cluster revenue rose 8.3%. In markets measured by Miller Kaplan, Beasley Broadcast Group clusters generated a slight revenue gain while these markets recorded a slight decline in revenue. Overall, we achieved revenue increases at six of our eleven market clusters as we saw improved local and digital advertising which offset the impact of a mid-single digit decline in national advertising. Reflecting the company’s streamlined operating and cost structure, first quarter SOI margins remain healthy and rose slightly to 33.4% up from 33.1% in the first quarter last year.

“In addition to the organization’s focus on its core programming and expanding our on-air and digital advertising platforms, we continue to strengthen our balance sheet.  Reflecting solid cash flows from operations, during the first quarter, we made repayments totaling $3.4 million against the credit facility, reducing total bank debt to $123.4 million at March 31, 2012 from $138.8 million at the end of last year’s first quarter. Our debt and leverage reduction initiatives over the last few years are delivering strong benefits to our income statement as first quarter interest expense declined by over 43% or more than $1 million compared with the same period last year while our leverage ratio is now at its lowest level in almost six years. We currently intend to continue using cash from operations to further lower debt as well as other initiatives that can enhance shareholder value.”