Gray Television reported higher first-quarter profits as it incorporated acquired stations and benefited from the start of year that will feature mid-term elections.
The company said its revenue and expenses were better than guidance because of faster-than-anticipated improvement in the performance at stations it acquired. Last year, Gray bought Meredith’s local station group and Quincy Media.
Net income rose 88% to $49 million, or 52 cents a share, including $8 million in transaction related expenses, compared to $26 million, or 27 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 52% to $827 million.
Core advertising revenue increased by 40%, retransmission consent revenue increased by 59% and political advertising revenue increased by 189% to $26 million.
On a combined historical basis, looking at the numbers as if Gray owned the Meredith and Quincy stations a year ago, revenue was up 10%, core ad revenue was up 4% and broadcast cash flow increased 8%.
For the second quarter, Gray said it expects total revenue of $846 million to $864 million. Core ad revenue is expected to be between $370 million and $375 million. Retransmission revenue is expected to be between $385 million and $390 million and political revenue is expected to be between $65 million and $70 million. ■
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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