Hearst-Argyle Stations See Revenue Increase

Feb 23, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Hearst-Argyle Television’s stations are generating revenue from new sources, including digital and retransmission, according to the group’s fourth-quarter earnings report.

Fueled by record levels of political ad spending, net income for the quarter rose to $44.1 million, or 48 cents per share, from the year-ago $9.9 million, or 11 cents a share, the company said Friday.

For the full year, revenue from digital medial revenue rose to $15.5 million, up from $300,000 a year ago. The company projects its digital revenues will continue to grow to the $21 million to $24 million range in 2007.

Retransmission consent revenues rose from $6.8 million in 2005 to $17.9 million in 2006. They are expected to be between $18 million and $20 million in 2007.

While those revenues are growing, they remain a small part of the company’s total revenues, which were $785 million in 2006.

Other forms of revenue, however, are not growing. Network compensation payments dropped from $19.1 million in 2005 to $9.8 million in 2006. Next year, they are expected to drop to $9 million.

With no major elections and no Olympics in 2007, total ad revenue is expected to drop to a range of $667 million to $685 million; it was $702 million in 2006.

For the full year, net income dropped to $98.7 million, or $1.06 per share, from $100.2 million or $1.08 a share. Net income was affected by a $7.6 million expense reflecting a new stock-based compensation plan.

(Editor: Horowitz)