Journal Communications Reports First Quarter 2013 Results

Journal Communications Reports First Quarter 2013 Results

First Quarter 2013 compared to First Quarter 2012:

  • Revenue of $94.7 million, up 15.1%
  • Broadcast revenue up 31.1% , up 6.0% on a same-station basis
  • Daily newspaper revenue trends improved with retail advertising revenue up 4.5%
  • Publishing revenue down 3.8%, up 1.8% excluding northern Wisconsin community publications sold in December 2012
  • Operating earnings of $8.5 million, up 47.3%
  • Diluted EPS of $0.08, compared to $0.05 in 2012

MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Journal Communications, Inc. (NYS: JRN) today announced results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2013.


"We are very pleased to report that Journal Communications experienced revenue growth in the first quarter at both our television and radio stations and improving trends at the Journal Sentinel daily newspaper," said Steven J. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Journal Communications.

"Television revenue increased over 43%, driven by a solid quarter at the newly acquired NewsChannel 5 in Nashville. On a same-station basis, television revenue increased almost 8%, driven, in part, by increased retransmission revenue. In radio, revenue grew nearly 7% with same-station up almost 3%, with revenue increases seen in most markets. Same-station revenue was up more than 6% across the broadcast group."

"Execution of an effective sales strategy at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel drove year over year growth in retail ROP advertising and solid results in digital and commercial print. Excluding the divested northern Wisconsin publications, publishing revenue grew almost 2%."

"Our overall revenue performance drove an operating earnings increase of over 47% in the quarter. Earnings per share were $0.08 compared to $0.05 last year."

First Quarter 2013 Results

Note that unless otherwise indicated, all comparisons are to the first quarter ended March 25, 2012. Same-station comparisons exclude the operations of KHTT-FM and KBEZ-FM in Tulsa, Oklahoma and NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, Tennessee which were purchased in June and December 2012, respectively.

For the first quarter, revenue of $94.7 million increased 15.1% and operating earnings of $8.5 million increased 47.3%. Net earnings were $3.8 million, an increase of 29.9%. First quarter results were driven by the acquisition of Nashville NewsChannel 5 - WTVF-TV in December 2012.

In the first quarter, basic and diluted net earnings per share of class A and B common stock were $0.08 compared to $0.05 in 2012.

The operating margin was 8.9% for the first quarter compared to 7.0%. Adjusted EBITDA, as defined in Table 4, was $15.4 million, an increase of 33.2% from $11.6 million.

Consolidated and Segment Results

The following table presents our revenue and operating earnings (loss) by segment for the first quarters of 2013 and 2012 (dollars in millions).

             
  Q1   Q1   %
    2013   2012   Change
Revenue:            
Broadcasting   $ 58.2   $ 44.4   31.1
Publishing     36.6     38.0   (3.8)
Corporate eliminations     (0.1)     (0.1)   58.1
Total Revenue   $ 94.7   $ 82.3   15.1
             
Operating earnings (loss):            
Broadcasting   $ 9.5   $ 6.7   41.9
Publishing     0.9     0.7   17.3
Corporate     (1.9)     (1.7)   (13.1)
Total operating earnings   $ 8.5   $ 5.7   47.3
 

For the first quarter, total expenses of $86.2 million increased 12.7% compared to $76.5 million, driven by acquisitions in Nashville and Tulsa.

Broadcasting

For the first quarter, broadcasting revenue increased 31.1% to $58.2 million or 6.0% on a same-station basis. Total broadcast political advertising revenue decreased 61.4% to $0.5 million. Local advertising revenue, excluding political, was up 25.1%, or 3.2% on a same-station basis. National advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 41.0%, or 7.5% on a same-station basis. Retransmission revenue increased 145.1% to $5.4 million. Broadcasting operating earnings of $9.5 million increased 41.9%.

Television

Revenue from television stations for the first quarter increased 43.4% to $42.3 million, or 7.6% on a same-station basis. Television political advertising revenue was $0.4 million compared to $1.2 million. Local advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 36.7%, or 3.2% on a same-station basis, primarily due to an increase in automotive advertising. National advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 50.1% or 9.5% on a same-station basis, primarily due to increases in media and restaurant advertising. Operating earnings from television stations were $7.1 million, an increase of 84.3%. Television operating expenses increased 37.2%, or 10.4% on a same-station basis, excluding acquisition costs, primarily due to increases in network fees and employee-related costs.

Radio

For the first quarter, revenue from radio stations increased 6.7% to $15.9 million, or 2.8% on a same-station basis. Radio political advertising revenue was $0.1 million in each of 2013 and 2012. Local advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 7.2%, or 3.3% on a same-station basis, primarily due to an increase in retail advertising. National advertising revenue, excluding political, increased 2.1%, but decreased 1.3% on a same-station basis, primarily due to a decrease in communications advertising. Operating earnings from radio stations were $2.4 million compared to $2.9 million, a decrease of 15.3%. Radio operating expenses increased 11.9%, or 8.1% on a same-station basis, primarily due to employee-related expense increases and a non-cash building impairment charge of $0.2 million.

Publishing

For the first quarter, publishing revenue decreased 3.8% to $36.6 million, largely due to the sale of the northern Wisconsin community publications in December 2012. Operating earnings from publishing were $0.9 million, an increase of 17.3%. Total newsprint and paper expense of $3.8 million increased 0.2% as commercial printing volume increases were offset by price declines.

Daily Newspaper

Revenue at the daily newspaper for the first quarter increased 0.1% to $33.1 million. Total advertising revenue of $16.0 million declined 0.6%. Retail advertising revenue increased 4.5% due to successful programs that have grown share with local advertisers. Classified advertising revenue decreased 10.9% driven by a decrease in employment and automotive advertising. Digital advertising revenue of $2.9 million increased 12.6%, primarily due to an increase in sponsorship revenue. Circulation revenue of $12.0 million was down 2.2%. Other revenue of $5.1 million increased 8.5% driven by higher commercial printing revenue. Operating earnings from the daily newspaper were $0.8 million, a decrease of 5.5%. Daily newspaper operating expenses increased 0.3%, primarily due to increased costs associated with higher commercial printing revenue.

Community Newspapers

Community newspapers revenue for the first quarter decreased 29.6% to $3.5 million primarily due to the sale of the northern Wisconsin community publications in December 2012. Excluding revenue of $2.1 million related to the northern Wisconsin community publications in 2012, revenue increased by 20.3%, driven by commercial print revenue from the northern Wisconsin publications that we continue to print following the sale. Operating earnings from community newspapers and shoppers were $0.1 million compared to a loss of $0.1 million. Operating expenses declined to $3.5 million compared to $5.1 million as a result of the sale of the northern Wisconsin community publications in 2012.

Corporate

The operating loss for the first quarter was $1.9 million compared to $1.7 million.

Non-Operating Items

For the first quarter, other expense, which primarily consists of interest expense, was $2.1 million compared to $0.7 million. The increase in interest expense reflects an increase in average borrowings for the quarter.

The first quarter effective tax rate was 40.0% compared to 41.8%.

Notes Payable to Banks and Cash Flows

At the end of the first quarter, total debt was $239.3 million. During the first quarter, we reduced our total debt by $6.7 million as compared to the 2012 year-end. Our consolidated funded debt ratio, as defined in our credit agreement, was 2.22-to-1. Cash from operating activities was $8.7 million compared to $8.3 million due to an increase in net earnings. First quarter capital expenditures were $2.5 million compared to $2.8 million.

Second Quarter 2013 Outlook

In the second quarter of 2013, on a same-station basis excluding political advertising revenue, we expect total broadcast revenue to be up in the mid-single digits as compared to the second quarter of 2012. In publishing, excluding the northern Wisconsin community publications, we anticipate revenue declines in the low-single digits as compared to the second quarter of 2012.

Conference Call and Webcast

The company will hold an earnings conference call today at 10:00 a.m. Central Time (11:00 a.m. ET, 8:00 a.m. PT). To access the call, dial (866) 515-2909 (domestic) or (617) 399-5123 (international) at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call. The access code for the conference call is 15265147. A live webcast of the first quarter conference call will be accessible through the Journal Communications' website at www.journalcommunications.com/investors, also beginning at 10:00 a.m. CT this morning. An archive of the webcast will be available on this site today through May 9, 2013. Replays of the conference call will also be available through May 9, 2013. To hear the replay, dial (888) 286-8010 (domestic) or (617) 801-6888 (international) at least one hour after the completion of the call. The access code for the replay is 19678296. Pre-registration for the conference call is now available at www.journalcommunications.com/investors.

Annual Meeting of Shareholders

The company will hold its 2013 Annual Meeting of Shareholders on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Central Time at the Imperial Ballroom of the Pfister Hotel, 424 East Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202.

About Journal Communications

Journal Communications, Inc., headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was founded in 1882. We are a diversified media company with operations in television and radio broadcasting, publishing and digital media. We own and operate 15 television stations and 34 radio stations in 12 states. We publish the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which serves as the only major daily newspaper for the Milwaukee metropolitan area, and several community publications in Wisconsin. Our digital media assets build on our strong publishing and broadcasting brands.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements related to our businesses that are based on our current expectations. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations expressed in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in advertising demand or the buying strategies of advertisers or the migration of advertising to the internet; changes in newsprint prices and other costs of materials; changes in federal or state laws and regulations or their interpretations (including changes in regulations governing the number and types of broadcast and cable system properties, newspapers and licenses that a person may control in a given market or in total or changes in spectrum allocation policies); changes in legislation or customs relating to the collection, management and aggregation and use of consumer information through telemarketing and electronic communication efforts; the availability of quality broadcast programming at competitive prices; changes in network affiliation agreements, including increased costs as networks seek a greater share of retransmission revenue; quality and rating of network over-the-air broadcast programs, including programs changing networks and changing competitive dynamics regarding how and when programs are made available to viewers; effects of the loss of commercial inventory resulting from uninterrupted television news coverage and potential advertising cancellations due to war or terrorist acts; and the effects of the rapidly changing nature of the publishing, broadcasting and printing industries, including general business issues, competitive issues and the introduction of new technologies. All forward-looking statements should be evaluated with the understanding of their inherent uncertainty. Our written policy on forward-looking statements can be found in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tables Follow

       
Table No. 1
Journal Communications, Inc.
Consolidated Statements of Operations (unaudited)
(dollars in thousands, except for shares and per-share amounts)
 
 
First Quarter (A)
2013 2012

% Change

 
 
Revenue:
Broadcasting $ 58,170 $ 44,374 31.1
Publishing 36,580 38,021 (3.8 )
Corporate eliminations   (54 )   (129 ) 58.1
Total revenue 94,696 82,266 15.1
 
Operating costs and expenses:
Broadcasting 28,202 22,426 25.8
Publishing 25,053 26,152 (4.2 )
Corporate eliminations   (54 )   (129 ) 58.1
Total operating costs and expenses 53,201 48,449 9.8
 
Selling and administrative expenses   33,039     28,077   17.7

Total operating costs and expenses and selling and administrative expenses

  86,240     76,526   12.7
 
Operating earnings 8,456 5,740 47.3
 
Other income and (expense):
Interest income - 5
Interest expense   (2,133 )   (733 )
Total other income and (expense) (2,133 ) (728 ) U
 
Earnings from continuing operations before income taxes 6,323 5,012 26.2
 
Provision for income taxes   2,530     2,093   20.9
 
Net earnings $ 3,793   $ 2,919   29.9
 
Weighted average number of shares-Class A and B common stock:
Basic 50,170,685 50,381,619
Diluted 50,341,433

#

50,381,619
 
Weighted average number of shares-Class C common stock - 3,264,000
 
Net earnings per share:
Basic - Class A and B common stock: $ 0.08 $ 0.05
Diluted - Class A and B common stock: $ 0.08 $ 0.05
Basic and diluted - Class C common stock: $ - $ 0.19
 
 

# The two-class method of diluted EPS is no longer applicable in the first quarter of 2013, therefore the impact of non-vested restricted shares is included in diluted weighted average shares.

 

 
(A) 2013 first quarter: December 31, 2012 to March 31, 2013
2012 first quarter: December 26, 2011 to March 25, 2012
U Greater than 100% unfavorable variance

     
Table No. 2
Journal Communications, Inc.
Segment Information (unaudited)
(dollars in thousands)
 
 
 
 
First Quarter (A)
2013 2012 % Change

Revenue

Broadcasting $ 58,170 $ 44,374 31.1
Publishing 36,580 38,021 (3.8 )
Corporate eliminations   (54 )   (129 ) 58.1
$ 94,696   $ 82,266   15.1
 

Operating earnings (loss)

Broadcasting $ 9,521 $ 6,709 41.9
Publishing 873 744 17.3
Corporate   (1,938 )   (1,713 ) (13.1 )
$ 8,456   $ 5,740   47.3
 

Depreciation and amortization

Broadcasting $ 3,957 $ 3,084 28.3
Publishing 1,747 2,472 (29.3 )
Corporate   172     165   4.2
$ 5,876   $ 5,721   2.7
 
 
(A) 2013 first quarter: December 31, 2012 to March 31, 2013
2012 first quarter: December 26, 2011 to March 25, 2012

                   

Table No. 3

Journal Communications, Inc.
Broadcasting and Publishing Segment Information (unaudited)
(dollars in thousands)
 
First Quarter of 2013 (A) First Quarter of 2012 (B)

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