Nielsen Reports Loss For Second Quarter

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Nielsen swung to a loss in the second quarter as revenue fell amid pandemic as the company continued preparation to split into separate entities.

Nielsen had a net loss of $30 million, or 8 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared to net income of $123 million, or 23 cents a share, a year ago. 

Revenue fell 8.1% to $1.496 billion.

The company raised its full-year 2020 guidance for earnings per share to $1.50 to $1.62 from $1.43 to $1.58. It also tightened its free cash flow range to $480 million to $530 million, increasing the bottom of the range from $460 million. It also said revenue is expected to be down 4% to 2%, compared to 4% to 1% earlier.

Nielsen Global Media revenue fell 5.3% to $811 million. Audience measurement revenue dropped 3.1%, reflecting the impact of COVID on sports and non-contracted revenue and ongoing pressure in local television. Plan/Optimize revenue was down 11.1%.

Nielsen Global Connect revenue decreased 11.3% to $685 million.

"We delivered solid results that were in line or above the outlook we provided in April amid a challenging environment due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, with both Media and Connect executing well,” said CEO David Kenny.

Kenny noted that Nielsen made cost-cutting moves in July.

“We expect our actions will permanently reduce our cost structure, driving margin expansion, increased cash generation and providing added flexibility to invest in key growth initiatives that will enable us to better serve our clients in rapidly evolving ecosystems,” he said. “We remain focused on the separation of Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, which we expect to complete in the first quarter of 2021. We have two strong businesses and both are well-positioned for their futures as standalone companies."

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.