DALLAS, Dec. 7, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Belo Corp. (NYSE: BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, presented today at the UBS 38th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference.
During the presentation, Dunia A. Shive, Belo's president and Chief Executive Officer, commented on the fourth quarter and full year 2010 outlook. Shive said, "Our strong financial performance has continued in the fourth quarter of 2010 on the strength of more than $35 million in political revenue. We currently expect political revenue to finish above $55 million for the full year. Based on current pacing trends, we expect total spot revenue to increase about 21 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, which is up from our previous guidance. For the full year, we expect total spot revenue to be up about 18 percent. Also for full year, we currently expect total spot revenue excluding political to be up more than 9 percent."
Shive confirmed previous guidance regarding operating costs saying, "In our last update for the fourth quarter of 2010, we said that on a reported basis, combined station and corporate operating costs were expected to be up approximately 12 to 13 percent. And, after excluding special items, that combined station and corporate operating costs were expected to be up less than 5 percent. We are confirming that same guidance today. For full year 2010, combined station and corporate operating costs are expected to be up around 6 percent compared to 2009.
Shive also said, "We currently expect to reduce debt by another $40 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, which would result in full year debt reduction of approximately $120 million."
Looking at 2011, Shive said, "We currently expect to see continued moderate recovery in advertising as long as the economy does not experience any unexpected setback. We expect spot revenue excluding political to grow in 2011, but at a more moderate rate than in 2010.
"We expect combined station and corporate operating costs to grow at a low-to-mid single digit rate in 2011. There will be fluctuations in our expense variance quarter-to-quarter due to Nextel credits in the first half of 2010 and syndicated programming expense savings related to the Oprah show in the fall of 2011."
Shive also said, "Capital expenditures in 2011 are expected to be $15 million to $16 million. Interest expense is expected to be around $72 million in 2011. The Company's effective tax rate for 2011 is expected to be around 41 percent, a little higher than normal because of the non-cash charge related to the split of the Company's Pension Plan, which was announced in October. Belo's pension contributions for full year 2011 are currently expected to be around $16 million."
The full presentation and a replay of the Webcast are archived on Belo's Web site at www.belo.com.
About Belo Corp.
Belo Corp. (BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and the CW, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Belo stations rank first or second in nearly all of their local markets. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Treasury Operations, at 214-977-6835.
Statements in this communication concerning Belo's business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, capital expenditures, investments, future financings, impairments, pension matters, and other financial and non-financial items that are not historical facts, are "forward-looking statements" as the term is defined under applicable federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements.
Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding the costs, consequences (including tax consequences) and other effects of the Company's spin-off distribution of its newspaper businesses and related assets to A. H. Belo Corporation and the associated agreements between the Company and A. H. Belo relating to various matters; changes in capital market conditions and prospects, and other factors such as changes in advertising demand, interest rates and programming and production costs; changes in viewership patterns and demography, and actions by Nielsen; changes in the network-affiliate business model for broadcast television; technological changes, and the development of new systems to distribute television and other audio-visual content; changes in the ability to secure, and in the terms of, carriage of Belo programming on cable, satellite, telecommunications and other program distribution methods; development of Internet commerce; industry cycles; changes in pricing or other actions by competitors and suppliers; Federal Communications Commission and other regulatory, tax and legal changes; adoption of new accounting standards or changes in existing accounting standards by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other accounting standard-setting bodies or authorities; the effects of Company acquisitions, dispositions, co-owned ventures, and investments; pension plan matters; general economic conditions; and significant armed conflict, as well as other risks detailed in Belo's other public disclosures and filings with the SEC including Belo's Annual Report on Form 10-K.
SOURCE Belo Corp.