Sinclair Broadcast Group Wednesday reported that revenues during the three months ending June 30 rose to $666.5 million, up 20% from the second quarter of 2015.
In an earnings call, COO David Amy credited the lift to political money, as well as revenue from retransmission agreements and digital endeavors.
However, he said the real political money won't roll in until the fourth quarter of the year, somewhat later than the usual third quarter. Sinclair is expecting up to 62% of political advertising to be be done in the month leading up to the general election, which is slightly higher than the usual 59%, executives said.
"This is predominantly due to the late fundraising in the Trump campaign," he said. Regardless, the group is expecting a record high in political spending, he said.
Sinclair also reported that during second quarter 2016:
- Operating income was $129.1 million, an increase of 12.9%, versus operating income of $114.3 million in the prior year period.
- Net income attributable to the company was $49.4 million, versus net income of $45.8 million in the prior year period.
- Diluted earnings per common share were $0.52 as compared to $0.48 in the prior year period, which includes the previously disclosed one-time FCC settlement of $9.3 million that reduced diluted earnings per share by $0.09.
"Not only did we exceed our expectations for our key financial metrics during the second quarter, but we also have made significant progress in expanding distribution and content,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement.
Of particular note, he said, was the July launch of Circa, the millennial-oriented video news and entertainment site, which had 7 million video views during its first week. Sinlair, however, won't see the financial fruits of that endeavor this year. Rather, Sinclair execs said they expect to lose roughly $8 million this year in launch costs.
Sinclair also reported that for the six months ending June 30:
- Total revenues increased 17.6% to $1.245 billion from $1.059 billion the first six months of 2015.
- Operating income was $215.4 million, an increase of 8.3%, versus operating income of $198.9 million in the prior year period.
- Net income attributable to the company was $73.6 million, versus net income of $70.1 million in the prior year period.
- Diluted earnings per common share were $0.77 as compared to $0.73 in the prior year period, which includes the previously disclosed one-time FCC settlement of $9.3 million which reduced diluted earnings per share by $0.09.
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