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Nielsen Reports Lower Earnings For 4th Quarter

Nielsen reported lower fourth-quarter earnings, but its division that provides TV ratings generated higher revenues.

Net income fell 36.7% to $159 million, or 44 cents a share, from a $251 million, or 68 cents, year ago.

 The company said earnings were affected by a $206 million gain recorded a year ago in connection with increasing its stake in Catalina Solutions, the company said. Operating income was $341 million, up from $310 million a year ago.

Revenue rose 2% in the fourth quarter to $1.66 billion.

Revenue for Nielsen’s Watch segment, which includes its TV ratings business, rose 5.8% to $788 million. Audience measurement of video and text revenues were up 8.4% due to continued client adoption of the company’s Total Audience Measurement system. Marketing effectiveness revenues were down 1.6%.

“While 2016 was a challenging year, our results reflect the resiliency of our business. We remain focused on our key strategic initiatives and we continue to drive productivity and efficiency in our operations,” said CEO Mitch Barns.

 “In our Watch segment, our Total Audience Measurement initiative continued to excel, and we saw significant growth in adoption of its many components by both media buyers and sellers,” Barns said. “With the approach of the 2017 Upfronts, our Total Audience system is ready to play a key role for our clients.”

For 2017, the company said it was expecting total revenue growth of 5% to 5% and net income per share to be between $1.40 and $1.46 per share.

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.