Nexstar reported its fourth-quarter 2022 earnings Tuesday, revealing its core advert gross sales fell 3.3% from Oct. 1-Dec. 31, the quarter throughout which it finalized its buy of the CW Community, however political advert income was up 1,306.9% because of the 2022 midterm elections.
The TV station teams big reported core promoting income at $477.5 million for the quarter, down from $493.7 million within the comparable 2021 interval. In the meantime, political advert gross sales have been at a whopping $265.9 million versus $18.9 million final yr.
General, Nexstar’s whole TV advert gross sales have been up 45%, coming in at $743.4 million in comparison with $512.6 in This autumn 2021.
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Distribution income was flat versus the prior yr at roughly $616 million. Digital income was up a document 10.1% at $112 million, progress Nexstar attributes to “contributions from the CW” and Nexstar’s improve in native digital advert income and company companies enterprise.
Wall Avenue forecast earnings per share (EPS) of $8.26 on$1.5 billion in income, in accordance with analyst consensus information offered by Refinitiv. Nexstar reported adjusted EPS of $5.30 on $1.5 billion in income.
Nexstar reported a This autumn revenue of $178 million. Excluding the CW Community, which misplaced $94.3 million from Oct. 1-Dec. 31, Nexstar says its web earnings totalled $272 million.
Free money move for the quarter elevated 27.8% to $422 million. Excluding the CW, that quantity rose to $458 million.
For the total yr 2022, Nexstar reported income of $5.21 billion (+12.1% yr over yr). If the CW is excluded, the corporate says the income improve would have solely been 10.8%. Core TV advert gross sales have been down 2.5% yr over yr whereas distribution income grew 4% and digital income rose 13%.
“2022 was a monumental yr for Nexstar as we generated $5.2 billion of income in addition to document ranges of Adjusted EBITDA and free money move,” chairman and CEO Perry Sook stated in a letter to shareholders. “We returned roughly 68% of our 2022 attributable free money move, or a document $1.02 billion, to our shareholders within the type of share repurchases and dividends. Our capacity to ship document outcomes and glorious shareholder returns – together with being the most effective performing media and leisure shares in 2022 — underscores the advantages of our distinctive scale, the energy of our working mannequin and our capacity to persistently generate substantial free money move.
“Our sturdy monetary outcomes are a referendum on the facility of the printed mannequin and its capacity to ship audiences at scale and powerful ranges of free money move. Our portfolio of native and nationwide media belongings present nationwide attain on par with different broadcast networks and native activation at a higher scale than another broadcast community proprietor, making a differentiated and engaging worth proposition for advertisers, manufacturers and content material homeowners in an more and more fragmented market. We’re centered on the continued growth of our capabilities and leveraging our linear, digital, cell and streaming belongings in new methods to ship new ranges of monetization, progress and shareholder returns.
“Trying forward, 2023 will profit from the 2022 renegotiation of our distribution contracts representing greater than half of our subscribers, and 2024 will profit from presidential election yr political promoting and extra distribution contract renewals. For the 2023/2024 cycle, we anticipate to generate professional forma common annual attributable free money move of roughly $1.25 billion, inclusive of $90 million of attributable losses and related tax profit from The CW. Our sturdy free money move permits us to not solely improve the share of capital returned to shareholders within the type of dividends but additionally proceed to opportunistically repurchase shares, in addition to scale back debt and pursue different strategic alternatives to additional improve shareholder worth.”
Nexstar inventory closed Monday at $192.30 per share. The common U.S. inventory markets will reopen at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Sook and different Nexstar executives will host a convention name at 10 a.m. ET to debate the quarter in higher element.