Nielsen Gains From Unit Sale And Raises Forecast for 2021

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Nielsen reported a first quarter profit-boosted by the sale of its Global Connect unit.

Net income was $573 million, or $1.59 a share, compared to a loss of $18 million, or 5 cents a share. 

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The sale of its Global Connect business for $2.4 billion, resulted in a $542 million pre-tax gain. Nielsen’s $1.59 of earnings per share includes 29 cents from continuing operations and $1.50 from the sale of Global Connect, offset by a loss of 21 cents at Global Connect during the quarter.

Net income from continuing operations rose 89% to $106 million. 

Revenue rose 2.5% to $863 million. Revenue from audience measurement rose 2.8% to $632 million and revenue from outcomes measurement and content services increased 1.8% to $231 million. 

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With the Global Connect transaction behind it, Nielsen will be focusing on audience measurement. Audience outcomes and its Gracenote content services business.

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Nielsen said it expects total revenue to grow between 2% and 3% for 2021. It also expects adjusted EBITDA to be between $1.47 billion and $1.49 billion, compared to an earlier forecast of $1.46 billion to $1.48 billion. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be in the $1.48 to $1.58 range, up from the previous forecast of $1.43 to $1.54 per share.

Nielsen said those estimates exclude between $220 million and $240 million in separate-related costs related to the sale of Global Connect.

“We delivered a solid first quarter, as our teams executed incredibly well. We closed on the sale of Global Connect in March and are now singularly focused as the global essential data, measurement, and analytics provider for the entire media ecosystem,” said CEO David Kenny. “We are investing in our future and we are well-positioned to drive new growth from new solutions across all of our end markets globally. In particular, we are pleased with the advances we’ve made in Audience Measurement, Outcomes and Gracenote Content Services. We are executing as planned and we are increasing key elements of our 2021 guidance.” 

Jon Lafayette

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.