Nexstar Revenue Up in Q3, Q4 to Be Tougher

Retransmission-Consent-Fee Gains Offset Political-Advertising Losses

Nexstar Broadcasting Group's retransmission fees are helping to close the revenue gap from an off election year.

Nexstar recorded net revenue in the third quarter of $64.5 million versus $63.6 million in the same quarter a year ago. While political advertising revenue in the quarter was just $800,000 versus $6.3 million a year ago, the company collected $3.1 million in retransmission-consent revenue.

Nexstar president and CEO Perry Sook said retransmission revenues will rise in 2008 as the company renews and extends its current agreements. “Our initiatives to develop high-margin revenue streams will deliver double-digit growth in revenue from these sources in both 2007 and 2008," Sook said in a statement.

Nexstar's income from operations was $8.3 million, down from $9.8 million, while its net loss per share was $0.24 versus $0.22 consensus estimates and $0.14 in Q3 2006. Free cash flow was $6.6 million in the period, up from $3.6 million a year ago.

The company expects revenue to drop 8%-10.6% in the fourth quarter from $77.2 million in Q4 2006 on an anticipated drop in political advertising revenue to $2 million from $16.7 million a year earlier.