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Emmis Communications Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)

July 12, 2012 | About:

Emmis Communications Corp. (NASDAQ:EMMS) filed Quarterly Report for the period ended 2012-05-31.

Emmis Communications Corporation has a market cap of $68.7 million; its shares were traded at around $1.76 with and P/S ratio of 0.3.

Highlight of Business Operations:

As previously mentioned, we derive approximately 70% of our net revenues from advertising sales. Our radio stations derive a higher percentage of their advertising revenues from local sales than our publishing entities. In the three-month period ended May 31, 2012, local sales, excluding political revenues, represented approximately 83% and 66% of our advertising revenues for our radio and publishing divisions, respectively.

No customer represents more than 10% of our consolidated net revenues. Our top ten categories for radio represent approximately 61% of our radio divisions total advertising net revenues for the three-month periods ended May 31, 2011 and 2012. The automotive industry, representing approximately 11% of our radio net revenues, is the largest category for our radio division for the three-month periods ended May 31, 2011 and 2012, respectively.

The results of our domestic radio operations are heavily dependent on the results of our stations in the New York and Los Angeles markets. These markets account for nearly 50% of our domestic radio net revenues. During fiscal 2012, KPWR-FM in Los Angeles experienced revenue growth that was better than the overall Los Angeles radio market, whereas our New York cluster trailed the revenue performance of the New York market due to weak performance at our adult urban station, WRKS-FM. During the three months ended May 31, 2012, we entered into an LMA for WRKS-FM. See Note 8 to the accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements for more discussion. Our results in New York and Los Angeles are often more volatile than our larger competitors due to our lack of scale in these markets. We are overly dependent on the performance of one station in each of these markets, and as the competitive environment shifts, our ability to adapt is limited. Furthermore, some of our competitors that operate larger station clusters in New York and Los Angeles are able to leverage their market share to extract a greater percentage of available advertising revenue through discounting unit rates.

Broadcasting revenue is recognized as advertisements are aired. Publication revenue is recognized in the month of delivery of the publication. Both broadcasting revenue and publication revenue recognition is subject to meeting certain conditions such as persuasive evidence that an arrangement exists and collection is reasonably assured. LMA fee revenue is recognized on a straight-line basis over the term of the LMA. These criteria are generally met at the time the advertisement is aired for broadcasting revenue and upon delivery of the publication for publication revenue. Advertising revenues presented in the financial statements are reflected on a net basis, after the deduction of advertising agency fees, usually at a rate of 15% of gross revenues.

Radio net revenues decreased in the three-month period ended May 31, 2012 as compared to the same period of the prior year principally due to the July 15, 2011 commencement of a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) related to the Merlin Stations and the ultimate sale of a controlling interest in these stations on September 1, 2011. As Emmis retained a noncontrolling equity ownership in the Merlin Stations, they have not been classified as discontinued operations. Excluding the Merlin Stations, radio net revenues would have increased $0.7 million or 1.8%. We typically monitor the performance of our domestic stations against the aggregate performance of the markets in which we operate based on reports for the periods prepared by Miller Kaplan. Miller Kaplan reports are generally prepared on a gross revenues basis and exclude revenues from barter arrangements. Miller Kaplan information through May 2012 is not yet available. The following discussion of year-to-date results is for the two months ended April 2012. Miller Kaplan reported gross revenues for our domestic radio markets decreased 5.0% for the two-month period ended April 30, 2012 as compared to the same period of the prior year. Excluding the Merlin Stations, our gross revenues as reported to Miller Kaplan decreased 2.2% for the two-month period ended April 30, 2012 as compared to the same period of the prior year. For the two-month period ending April 30, 2012, our gross revenues exceeded the market average in New York, Los Angeles and Indianapolis, but trailed market performance in St. Louis and Austin. Miller Kaplan does not report gross revenue market data for our Terre Haute market. For the three-month period ended May 31, 2012 as compared to the same period of the prior year, our average rate per minute for our domestic radio stations was down 2.9%, and our minutes sold were up 4.9%.

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