NBCU 1st-Quarter Earnings Down 45%

Apr 17, 2009  •  Post A Comment

First-quarter earnings fell 45% at NBC Universal, parent company General Electric announced Friday morning.
While its cable networks continued to deliver double-digit growth, GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement, “NBC Universal has a tougher performance overall due to a soft advertising market and fewer major DVD releases compared to a year ago.”
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NBC Universal’s revenues were down 2% to $3.52 billion and its earning were down 45% to $391 million.
GE CFO Keith Sherin said that several one-time events hurt NBC’s results.
While the Super Bowl drew record ratings, high rights fees meant the company took a $45 million loss on the big game. NBCU also took a $16 million writeoff on its investment in Ion Media.
Cable remained a bright spot for NBC Universal, with revenues up 7% and earnings up 19%. Bravo’s earnings were up 41%, USA’s were up 15% and Oxygen posted a gain of more than 100%.
The rest of the year looks better, Mr. Sherin said. Taking out the one-time charges, NBC Universal was running at an annual rate of down only 15% to 25%, the company said.
“The media space is rough but we think we will exceed our first-quarter run rate,” Mr. Immelt said during the company’s earnings call with analysts.
GE said its first-quarter net earnings were $2.8 billion, or 26 cents a share, down 40% from $4.3 billion or 43 cents a share a year ago. Revenues were down 9% to $38.4 billion.

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