SINCLAIR REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 2020 FINANCIAL RESULTS
BALTIMORE (May 6, 2020) – Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI), the “Company” or “Sinclair,” today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2020.
First Quarter Highlights
- Consolidated revenue increased 123% to $1,609 million as compared to first quarter 2019, with gains driven in large part by the Company’s acquisition of 21 Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) and Fox College Sports in August 2019. Excluding the RSN acquisition, media revenues increased by 17%, aided by an increase in political advertising and higher retransmission revenues. Consolidated Media Revenue was $31 million below the low end of guidance due in part to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on certain advertising revenues.
- Consolidated operating income increased 248% to $327 million.
- Consolidated adjusted EBITDA of $281 million increased 69% versus the first quarter of 2019 and was $22M greater than the high end of Company guidance, due in part to cost reduction efforts in the wake of COVID-19.
- Ten million shares of common stock, 11% of the Company’s outstanding shares, were repurchased during the first quarter.
- Withdrawing all fiscal year 2020 previously-issued guidance due to the COVID-19 pandemic impact and lack of visibility on resumption of professional sports.
“These are unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact the economy, businesses and lifestyles in extraordinary and uncommon ways,” commented Chris Ripley, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Despite these macro challenges, Sinclair was quick to manage non-essential costs and provide for a smooth ‘work-from-home’ transition. We are confident that our diversified revenue streams, content, and delivery platforms will allow us to see our Company through the pandemic’s effects and that we will be able to meet our liquidity needs. Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution, we have and continue to take steps to manage our costs including deferring non-critical capital expenditures, delaying non-essential hiring actions, and reducing discretionary expenses until conditions improve.”
Ripley continued, “Furthermore, we have a social responsibility to help our communities and employees through these difficult times. In addition to the numerous charitable fundraising initiatives in which Sinclair outlets have participated in their local markets, raising millions of dollars, we have also partnered with the Salvation Army on ‘Sinclair Cares: Your Neighbor Needs You,’ which to-date has raised over $750,000 for those financially impacted by COVID-19. I am especially proud of our employees, who have stepped up and positively impacted their communities during these difficult times. We call them Sinclair Heroes and their selfless acts of kindness have helped make a difficult time more bearable for those in need. Ripley continued, “Among the actions we have taken as a company to assist our employees include expanding the use of sick leave for employees unable to work due to child or dependent care issues, allowing eligible employees to cash out vacation hours to assist with family hardships, and revamping how we pay our commissioned employees at a time when advertising revenues are impacted.”
Ripley concluded, “We also want to thank the many employees in our news, on-air operations and other essential departments who continue to perform their duties on-site in order to ensure that our outlets remain on the air and broadcasting entertainment and critical local news information.”
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