Sinclair Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results And Increases Quarterly Cash Dividend Per Share - REPORTS $0.42 DILUTED EARNINGS PER SHARE

- INCREASES CASH DIVIDEND PER SHARE 10% TO $0.165 PER QUARTER

BALTIMORE, Aug. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI), the "Company" or "Sinclair," today reported financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014. 

"We are excited to report better than expected second quarter results on stronger core advertising and digital interactive revenues, as well as lower television operating expenses," commented David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair.  "With the acquisition of Allbritton now complete, our focus will be on rationalizing and strengthening the portfolio, building upon our existing television station platform as it relates to investments in digital interactive and news content, and expanding our recently launched collegiate sports initiative.  At the same time, we will continue to push for regulatory reform and building the next generation broadcast platform, both of which will allow us to more effectively compete with other forms of media."  

Three Months Ended June 30, 2014 Financial Results:

  • Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations increased 44.7% to $404.2 million, versus $279.3 million in the prior year period.
  • Operating income was $103.0 million, an increase of 22.3% versus $84.3 million in the prior year period.
  • Net income attributable to the Company was $41.3 million, versus net income of $17.8 million in the prior year period.
  • Diluted earnings per common share was $0.42 compared to $0.19 in the prior year period.

Six Months Ended June 30, 2014 Financial Results:

  • Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations increased 46.2% to $778.0 million, versus $532.2 million in the prior year period.
  • Operating income was $184.0 million, an increase of 24.4% versus $147.9 million in the prior year period.
  • Net income attributable to the Company was $68.5 million, versus net income of $34.8 million in the prior year period.
  • Diluted earnings per common share was $0.69 compared to $0.40 in the prior year period.

Three Months Ended June 30, 2014 Operating Highlights:

  • Political revenues were $11.6 million versus $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2013.
  • Local net broadcast revenues, which include local time sales, retransmission revenues, and other broadcast revenues, were up 47.0% versus the second quarter of 2013, while national net broadcast revenues, which include national time sales and other national broadcast revenues, were up 36.3% versus the second quarter of 2013.
    • Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues increased 46.2% and national net broadcast revenues increased 23.2% versus the second quarter of 2013.
  • Our fastest growing advertising categories included political, automotive, medical, fast food and travel/leisure. Categories that declined were direct response, retail, and restaurants versus second quarter of 2013.

Recent Corporate Developments

  • In May 2014, the Company announced the launch of ONE Media, LLC, a joint venture between Coherent Logix and Sinclair with a vision to build the "Next Generation Broadcast Platform," enabling broadcasting to be competitive across all platforms. This broadcast platform will support all business models, whether fixed services to the home, portable services within the home, or nomadic services outside the home.
  • In July 2014, the Company announced that effective September 1, 2014, WTOV-TV in the Wheeling, WVA/Steubenville, OH market will be adding the FOX affiliation to the station's channel line-up, in addition to carrying the NBC affiliation and MeTV.
  • In July 2014, the Company announced that it was launching the American Sports Network ("ASN"), a collegiate sports initiative to be broadcast on a number of our broadcast television stations and entered into comprehensive sports rights agreements with a number of distinguished NCAA Division I conferences, including Conference USA, the Colonial Athletic Association, Big South Conference, Southern Conference and Patriot League.
  • In July 2014, the Company received initial grant by the FCC of its approval for its previously announced acquisition of WGXA-TV (FOX/ABC) in Macon, GA. The Company expects to close the acquisition on September 1, 2014.
  • On July 31, 2014, the Company closed on its previously announced $985.0 million acquisition of the Allbritton television stations and simultaneously sold the non-license assets of WTAT-TV (FOX) in Charleston, SC, which the Company had operated pursuant to a local marketing agreement, for $14.0 million. In addition, the Company announced that it sold WHTM-TV (ABC) in Harrisburg to Media General for $83.4 million, the closing which will occur upon Media General's receipt of FCC approval.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Highlights:

  • Debt on the balance sheet, net of $395.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, was $2,719.4 million at June 30, 2014 versus net debt of $2,709.7 million at March 31, 2014.
  • On July 23, 2014, the Company completed an offering of $550.0 million of Senior Unsecured Notes due 2024 ("the Notes"). The Notes were priced at 100% of their par value and bear interest at 5.625%. The proceeds were used to fund the Allbritton acquisition and for general corporate purposes.
  • On July 31, 2014, the Company completed an amendment and restatement of its bank credit facility in which $400.0 million of incremental tranche B term loans were raised and $327.7 million of drawn and delayed draw tranche A term loan commitments were converted into revolving commitments. In addition, certain terms within the bank credit agreement were amended to add operating flexibility, including eliminating certain financial maintenance covenants. The proceeds will be used to fund the Allbritton acquisition and for general corporate purposes.
  • As of June 30, 2014, 71.4 million class A common shares and 26.0 million class B common shares were outstanding, for a total of 97.4 million common shares outstanding.
  • In June 2014, the Company paid a $0.15 per share quarterly cash dividend to its shareholders.
  • In August, the Company increased the quarterly cash dividend by 10%, raising the per share dividend from $0.15 to $0.165, beginning with the dividend payable September 15, 2014.
  • Capital expenditures in the second quarter of 2014 were $14.7 million.
  • Program contract payments were $23.4 million in the second quarter of 2014.

Notes:

Presentation of financial information for the prior year has been reclassified to conform with the presentation of generally accepted accounting principles for the current year.

Outlook:

The following acquisitions closed during 2013 and, therefore, the results of these acquired stations were not included in the corresponding 2013 periods, pre-acquisition: the COX stations (May 1, 2013), WUTB (June 3, 2013), the Fisher stations (August 8, 2013), the Titan and El Paso stations (October 1, 2013), the Portland, ME station (November 1, 2013), the Reno, NV station (November 21, 2013), and the Barrington stations (November 22, 2013).  The Allbritton, Macon and New Age stations are not included in the Outlook section. 

"The second half of the year should benefit from the mid-term political elections, as well as new programming for the start of the Fall season," commented David Amy, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  "Local advertising continues to grow by low single digit percents and, although national has recently started to show improvements, it is still pacing weaker than last year, leading us to remain cautious on our outlook."

The Company currently expects to achieve the following results for the three months ending September 30, 2014 and year ending December 31, 2014:

Third Quarter 2014

  • Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations, before barter, are expected to be approximately $407.0 million to $409.6 million, up 34.3% to 35.2% year-over-year. Embedded in these anticipated results are:
    • $26.5 million in political revenues as compared to $2.7 million in the third quarter of 2013.
  • Barter and trade revenue are expected to be approximately $28.1 million.
  • Barter expense is expected to be approximately $25.1 million. Trade expense is included in television expenses (defined below).
  • Station production expenses and station selling, general and administrative expenses (together, "television expenses"), excluding barter expense but including trade expense of $3.0 million, are expected to be approximately $226.4 million. Trade expense has historically been forecasted with barter expense but is currently forecasted in television expenses.
    • Stock-based compensation expense is expected to be $1.4 million.
  • Program contract amortization expenses are expected to be approximately $27.0 million.
  • Program contract payments are expected to be approximately $22.5 million.
  • Corporate overhead is expected to be approximately $16.7 million, which includes $1.5 million of stock-based compensation.
  • Other operating division revenues less other operating division expenses are expected to be $4.0 million of income, assuming current equity interests.
  • Depreciation on property and equipment is expected to be approximately $24.2 million, assuming the capital expenditure assumption below.
  • Amortization of acquired intangibles is expected to be approximately $25.2 million.
  • Net interest expense is expected to be approximately $47.8 million, assuming no changes in the current interest rate yield curve and changes in debt levels based on the assumptions discussed in this "Outlook" section and the recent financings.
  • Cash taxes paid are expected to be approximately $33.6 million, based on the assumptions discussed in this "Outlook" section. The Company's effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 36.2%.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $26.5 million, which includes ASN capital requirements.

Full Year 2014

  • Barter and trade revenue is expected to be approximately $121.1 million.
  • Barter expense is expected to be approximately $108.7 million.
  • Station production expenses and station selling, general and administrative expenses (together, "television expenses"), excluding barter expense but including trade expense of $12.3 million, are expected to be approximately $884.9 million.  
    • Stock-based compensation expense is expected to be $5.5 million.  
  • Program contract amortization expense is expected to be approximately $103.9 million.
  • Program contract payments are expected to be approximately $93.4 million.
  • Corporate overhead is expected to be approximately $65.4 million
    • Stock-based compensation expense is expected to be approximately $8.7 million
  • Other operating division revenues less other operating division expenses are expected to be $13.9 million of income, assuming current equity interests.
  • Depreciation on property and equipment is expected to be approximately $97.8 million, assuming the capital expenditure assumption below.
  • Amortization of acquired intangibles is expected to be approximately $100.3 million
  • Net interest expense is expected to be approximately $177.7 million (approximately $168.5 million on a cash basis), assuming no changes in the current interest rate yield curve and changes in debt levels based on the assumptions discussed in this "Outlook" section and the recent financings. 
  • The Company's effective tax rate is expected to be approximately 35.6%. 
  • Capital expenditures are expected to be $73.0 million, which assumes investments in HD news, master control upgrades, building consolidation projects, and ASN capital requirements.

"Discontinued Operations" accounting has been adopted in the financial statements for all periods presented in this press release for the sale of WLAJ-TV, our ABC affiliate in Lansing, Michigan which closed in March 2013, and for the sale of WLWC-TV, our CW affiliate in the Providence, RI/New Bedford, MA market, which closed in April 2013.  Therefore, the related results from operations, net of related income taxes, have been reclassified from income from continuing operations and reflected as net income from discontinued operations.  Prior current year amounts have been reclassified to conform to current year GAAP presentation.

Sinclair Conference Call:

The senior management of Sinclair will hold a conference call to discuss its second quarter 2014 results on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. ET.  After the call, an audio replay will be available at www.sbgi.net under "Investor Information/Earnings Webcast."  The press and the public will be welcome on the call in a listen-only mode.  The dial-in number is (877) 407-8033.

About Sinclair:

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is the largest and one of the most diversified television broadcasting companies with affiliations with all the major networks.  Sinclair's television group will reach approximately 38.9% of U.S. television households, after pending transactions.    The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.

Forward-Looking Statements: 

The matters discussed in this news release, particularly those in the section labeled "Outlook," include forward-looking statements regarding, among other things, future operating results.  When used in this news release, the words "outlook," "intends to," "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "achieves," "estimates," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.  Such statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties.  Actual results in the future could differ materially and adversely from those described in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, but not limited to, the impact of changes in national and regional economies, the volatility in the U.S. and global economies and financial credit markets which impact our ability to forecast, our ability to integrate acquired businesses and maximize operating synergies, our ability to obtain necessary governmental approvals and financing for announced acquisitions, successful execution of outsourcing agreements, pricing and demand fluctuations in local and national advertising, volatility in programming costs, the market's acceptance of new programming and performance of, the CW Television Network and MyNetworkTV programming, our news share strategy, our local sales initiatives, the execution of retransmission consent agreements, our ability to identify and consummate investments in attractive non-television assets and to achieve anticipated returns on those investments once consummated, and any other risk factors set forth in the Company's most recent reports on Form 10-Q, Form 10-K and Form 8-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  There can be no assurances that the assumptions and other factors referred to in this release will occur.  The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements except as required by law.

 

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Preliminary Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations

(in thousands, except per share data)



Three Months Ended June 30,


Six Months Ended June 30,


2014


2013


2014


2013

REVENUES:








Station broadcast revenues, net of agency commissions

$    404,151


$    279,270


$    778,032


$    532,195

Revenues realized from station barter arrangements

33,336


22,047


57,361


40,277

Other operating divisions revenues

17,649


12,837


32,391


24,300

Total revenues

455,136


314,154


867,784


596,772

OPERATING EXPENSES:








Station production expenses

134,303


85,694


261,342


166,127

Station selling, general and administrative expenses

82,595


53,297


164,520


105,235

Expenses recognized from station barter arrangements

29,528


19,382


51,005


35,396

Amortization of program contract costs and net realizable value adjustments

23,574


18,656


47,515


37,517

Other operating divisions expenses

14,453


10,736


26,778


20,605

Depreciation of property and equipment

25,252


15,105


49,630


29,700

Corporate general and administrative expenses

17,403


11,447


33,238


22,697

Amortization of definite-lived intangible and other assets

24,989


15,557


49,717


31,559

Total operating expenses

352,097


229,874


683,745


448,836

Operating income

103,039


84,280


184,039


147,936

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):








Interest expense and amortization of debt discount and deferred financing costs

(40,121)


(45,465)


(79,659)


(83,162)

Loss from extinguishment of debt


(16,283)



(16,283)

Income (loss) from equity and cost method investments

742


(404)


840


(1,456)

Other income, net

1,015


482


1,932


939

Total other expense

(38,364)


(61,670)


(76,887)


(99,962)

Income from continuing operations before income taxes

64,675


22,610


107,152


47,974

INCOME TAX PROVISION

(23,074)


(9,654)


(37,894)


(18,503)

Income from continuing operations

41,601


12,956


69,258


29,471

DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS:








Income from discontinued operations, includes income tax benefit (provision) of $0, $4,973, $0 and $4,682, respectively


5,103



5,458

NET INCOME

41,601


18,059


69,258


34,929

Net income attributable to the noncontrolling interests

(266)


(233)


(765)


(106)

NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP

$      41,335


$      17,826


$      68,493


$       34,823

Dividends declared per share

$          0.15


$          0.15


$            .30


$           0.30









EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP:








Basic earnings per share from continuing operations

$           0.43


$          0.14


$          0.70


$           0.34

Basic earnings per share from discontinued operations

$               —


$          0.06


$             —


$           0.06

Basic earnings per share

$           0.43


$          0.19


$          0.70


$           0.40

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations

$           0.42


$          0.14


$          0.69


$           0.34

Diluted earnings per share from discontinued operations

$               —


$          0.05


$             —


$           0.06

Diluted earnings per share

$           0.42


$          0.19


$          0.69


$           0.40

Weighted average common shares outstanding

97,174


92,083


97,994


86,667

Weighted average common and common equivalent shares outstanding

97,864


93,604


98,678


87,844









AMOUNTS ATTRIBUTABLE TO SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP COMMON SHAREHOLDERS:








Income from continuing operations, net of tax

$       41,335


$      12,723


$      68,493


$      29,365

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax


5,103



5,458

Net income

$       41,335


$      17,826


$      68,493


$      34,823

SOURCE Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.



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