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Media General Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-K)

March 22, 2012 | About:

Media General Inc. (NYSE:MEG) filed Annual Report for the period ended 2011-12-25.

Media Genl A has a market cap of $119.9 million; its shares were traded at around $5.51 with and P/S ratio of 0.2.

Highlight of Business Operations:

The Companys 2011 loss from continuing operations before income taxes was $31 million (excluding the $33 million pretax impairment charge), compared to income from continuing operations before income taxes of $2.8 million in 2010. This deterioration in performance was caused by a 9.1% decrease in revenues, and led to a 37% decline in segment operating profits in 2011 from the prior year. Significantly reduced Political advertising in this odd-numbered year comprised more than half of the year-over-year revenue shortfall. As the economic recovery struggled in 2011, advertising revenues suffered, particularly in Print. In a concerted effort to mitigate the revenue weakness, discretionary spending was reduced as evidenced by a 3.5% decrease in operating costs (excluding impairment) in 2011 from the prior year despite a $3.6 million year-over-year increase in severance expense. Interest expense was down 9.4% in 2011 due primarily to the absence of $5.5 million of 2010 expense (as a result of debt issuance costs that were expensed immediately upon entering into the revised financing structure in February 2010); maturity of the remaining interest rate swaps and a small decline in average debt outstanding was responsible for the remaining decrease.

The Company recorded income from continuing operations before income taxes of $2.8 million in 2010 as compared to income from continuing operations before income taxes of $11 million in 2009 (excluding the $84 million pretax impairment charge). The largest factors in these year-over-year results were a 69% increase in interest expense (reflecting the revised financing structure put into place in February 2010), which was virtually offset by an equally significant 33% improvement in segment operating results. This $28 million increase in segment operating profits in 2010 from the prior year was principally attributable to a 3.1% increase in revenues (driven in large part by strong Political advertising) combined with a 1.4% decrease in segment operating costs. Segment expenses were held in check primarily due to lower costs in the areas of newsprint, benefits, and depreciation and amortization. However, corporate expense was up 16% due principally to the impact of employee furlough days (which did not recur from 2009) and the absence of a $2 million gain from 2009 resulting from the final freeze of retirement plans. Additionally, total operating costs in 2009 were favorably impacted by substantially higher fixed asset sale gains.

Revenues in the Florida Market were down 15% in 2011 and almost 1% in 2010 from the equivalent prior-year periods. Similar to the Virginia/Tennessee Market, advertising revenues were down across all categories in both years with the exception of 2010 Political advertising. In 2010, Political advertising was robust as a result of Floridas hotly contested gubernatorial, congressional, and attorney general races, combined with issue spending. However, the continued soft housing market and high unemployment in the Tampa Bay area remained detrimental factors to the Markets overall revenue performance in 2011 and 2010. In 2011, National advertising suffered the largest decline (down 27%) as the absence of revenues from both the 2010 Winter Olympics and BP image advertising had a considerable impact. In 2011, Local advertising was also negatively impacted (down 4.7%) by the lack of 2010 Olympic revenue; Classified advertising fell 17%. Despite the presence of Olympic advertising and BP advertising in 2010, Classified, Local and National advertising were down 21%, 4.5% and 1.5%, respectively, from 2009, reflecting some displacement of transactional advertising by Political spending as well as a weakened advertising environment across all sources of advertising dollars at that time.

Revenues in the Mid-South Market fell 2% in 2011 but rose 14% in 2010 compared to prior years. With 11 of the Companys 18 network-affiliated television stations, the Mid-South Market is significantly influenced by Political advertising. The decreased Political advertising in 2011s off-election year freed up additional advertising inventory and allowed for solid gains in Local advertising (up 2.7%) and National advertising (up 4.9%). Partially mitigating the 2011 decline in Political advertising and a moderate decrease in Classified advertising, was an approximate 69% increase in Printing and Distribution revenues, as well as a 5.7% rise in Subscription/Content/Circulation revenues in 2011 over 2010. Strong Political advertising in 2010 (resulting from both primary and general election spending) provided the lions share of the year-over-year improvement; however, an approximate 6% increase in both Local and National advertising contributed as well. Success was also achieved from new printing and distribution arrangements which grew 46% in 2010 from the prior year.

Revenues in the North Carolina Market decreased 3.1% in 2011 and 1.4% in 2010 from the comparable periods in 2010 and 2009. While both years suffered declines in Local and Classified advertising, National advertising regained its footing in 2010 and improved 7.7% over 2009, only to recede 7.3% in 2011 from the prior year. In 2011, Local (down 3.3%) and Classified (down 12%) advertising declines compared to decreases of 3.1% (Local) and 7.1% (Classified) in 2010 from 2009. Classified advertising struggled due to lower legal and real estate advertising in 2011 and weak automotive advertising in 2010. Political advertising almost tripled in 2010 over the prior year due primarily to Congressional races and higher issue spending. With the addition of USA Today as a third-party customer towards the end of 2010, Printing and Distribution revenues nearly doubled in 2011 over 2010.

Read the The complete Report

About the author:

Charlie Tian, Ph.D. - Founder of GuruFocus. You can now order his book Invest Like a Guru on Amazon.

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