Tegna reported higher earrings for the first quarter, driven by acquisition and political advertising spending.
Net income rose 16.7% to $86.3 million, or 39 cents a share, compared to $73.98 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago.
Revenue rose 32.4% to $684.2 million.
Tegna said that after a strong start to the year, the COVID-19 crisis and efforts to reduce the spread of the virus began negatively impacting non-political advertising in Mid-March.
“We exec this trend to continue until such measures are relaxed, the company said. “However, based on currently known information about COVID-19 trends, we generally expect the second quarter of 2020 to be the most significantly impacted this year, with sequential improvement throughout the remainder of the fiscal year,” the company said.
“Since the onset of COVID-19, I am proud of our employees who have utilized safe and creative approaches to production during this pandemic. Our audience numbers are up significantly on all platforms whether linear TV or digital products,” said CEO Dave Lougee.
“Since the beginning of this crisis, we have moved quickly and prudently to reduce all non-essential costs and discretionary capital expenditures to protect the long-term health of our business. The strong foundation we have built over the past several years provides us the ability to respond in a thoughtful and timely manner. During that time, we have strengthened and diversified our revenue streams, as well as reinforced our balance sheet to increase liquidity and flexibility to manage through this period of volatility,” Lougee said.
“Near-term macro dynamics clearly remain uncertain, but our first quarter results reflect continued momentum in subscription and political revenue streams," he said. "This allows us to better weather the current downturn in non-political advertising, while we continue to invest in the future and execute on our strategy for Tegna shareholders over the long-term.”
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