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Gray Reports Lower Earnings For Fourth Quarter

Gray Television, which acquired Raycom Media last year, reported lower earnings despite a jump in revenue to record levels.

Net income was $81 million, or 81 cents a share, down from $88 million, or $1 a share, a year ago.

Broadcast cash flow was $229 million, up 33%.

Revenue rose 77% to $579 million. Political advertising revenue was $38 million for the fourth quarter, exceeding guidance of $25 million. In 2017, the last non-election year, fourth quarter ad revenue was $14 million. Local advertising rose 42% to $243 million and national advertising was up 11.6%.

Retransmission consent revenue rose 33.7% to $194 million.

The company said it has created annual synergies since the Raycom acquisition of at least $85 million. In the quarter, the company had $7 million in transaction related expenses, up from 2 million a year ago, and paid non-cash stock-based compensation of $6 million, up from $2 million.

For 2020, the company expects revenue to be between $2.375 billion and $2.425 billion, political revenue to be between $250 million and $275 million and free cash flow to be about $500 million.