Nexstar Broadcasting reported $90 million in third-quarter
net revenue, a 20.2% increase and a record number for the broadcast group.
While political advertising paced the strong earnings, local revenues grew 3.2%
and national revenues climbed 18.4%, to make for core ad growth of 7.4%.
"The third quarter was an active and productive period
for Nexstar as we again generated record financial results for net revenue,
EBITDA, free cash flow and margins," said Perry Sook, Nexstar president
and CEO. "Reflecting the strong operating leverage in our business model,
Nexstar's 20.2% rise in third quarter net revenue resulted in 57% growth in
third quarter BCF, a 67% increase in adjusted EBITDA and a 280% rise in free
Earlier in the week, Nexstar entered into an agreement to
buy five stations: three from Newport Television
in California, and two, along with Mission Broadcasting, from Smith Media in
Burlington. The two deals totaled $52.5 million.
In July, Nexstar acquired 12 stations from Newport. Sook called that "a
highly accretive, transformational transaction."
"The 12 new stations will further expand our operating
base and operating leverage and lead to substantial free cash flow growth
without materially affecting our leverage profile," he added.
"Importantly, with expectations for free cash flow accretion in the first
year of ownership of the new stations approximately 45% over those of our
current operations, Nexstar can significantly reduce leverage while potentially
returning capital to shareholders."
Sook said the robust earnings should continue. "We are
pacing toward another period of record political advertising in the fourth
quarter of 2012," said the company.