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Arbitron Inc. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)

August 05, 2009 | About:

Arbitron Inc. (ARB) filed Quarterly Report for the period ended 2009-06-30.

Arbitron Inc. is an international media and marketing research firm serving radio broadcasters cable companies advertisers advertising agencies and outdoor advertising companies in the United States Mexico and Europe. Arbitron\'s core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. Arbitron Inc. has a market cap of $442.5 million; its shares were traded at around $16.71 with a P/E ratio of 10.8 and P/S ratio of 1.2. The dividend yield of Arbitron Inc. stocks is 2.4%.

Highlight of Business Operations:

Nielsens signing of Cumulus Media Inc. (Cumulus) and Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (Clear Channel) as customers for its radio ratings service in certain small to mid-sized markets is anticipated to adversely impact our expected revenue by approximately $5.0 million in 2009, and $10.0 million per year thereafter. Due to the current economic downturns impact on anticipated sales of discretionary services, as well as the high penetration of our current services in the radio station business, we expect that our future annual organic rate of revenue growth from our quantitative Diary-based radio ratings services will be slower than historical trends.

Although we recognized a substantial majority of the related expense during the first half of 2009, certain other expenses associated with the restructuring will be incurred and recognized during the remainder of 2009. In accordance with our retirement plan provisions, retirement plan participants may elect, at their option, to receive their retirement benefits either in a lump sum payment or an annuity. According to SFAS No. 88, Employers Accounting for Settlements and Curtailments of Defined Benefit Pension Plans and for Termination Benefits, if the lump sum distributions paid during the plan year exceed the total of the service cost and interest cost for the plan year, any unrecognized loss or gain in the plan should be recognized for the pro rata portion equal to the percentage reduction of the projected benefit obligation. Subsequent to the June 30, 2009 financial statement report date, the aggregate of lump sum distribution elections by a number of pension plan participants, who were part of the restructuring, resulted in the recognition of a pro rata settlement loss related to two of the Companys retirement plans during the third quarter 2009. As a result of this settlement charge, we estimate that the total restructuring charge for the full year ending December 31, 2009, including the non-cash estimated loss for the pro rata settlement, will be approximately $11.0 million, as compared to our previous estimate of approximately $9.0 million.

During the six months ended June 30, 2009, we incurred approximately $1.6 million in legal costs and expenses in connection with two securities-law civil actions and a governmental interaction that commenced during 2008, relating primarily to the commercialization of our PPM service. We believe approximately $1.3 million is probable for recovery under our Directors and Officers insurance policy. We are also involved in other legal matters for which we do not expect that the legal costs and expenses will be recoverable through insurance. We can provide no assurance that we will not incur significant net legal costs and expenses during the remainder of 2009.

We capitalize software development costs with respect to significant internal use software initiatives or enhancements in accordance with Statement of Position 98-1, Accounting for the Costs of Computer Software Developed or Obtained for Internal Use. The costs are capitalized from the time that the preliminary project stage is completed and management considers it probable that the software will be used to perform the function intended, until the time the software is placed in service for its intended use. Once the software is placed in service, the capitalized costs are amortized over periods of three to five years. We perform an assessment quarterly to determine if it is probable that all capitalized software will be used to perform its intended function. If an impairment exists, the software cost is written down to estimated fair value. As of June 30, 2009, and December 31, 2008, our capitalized software developed for internal use had carrying amounts of $24.2 million and $22.6 million, respectively, including $13.9 million and $13.3 million, respectively, of software related to the PPM service.

During 2008, we became involved in two securities-law civil actions and a governmental interaction primarily related to the commercialization of our PPM service. During 2008 and the six months ended June 30, 2009, we incurred $7.8 million in legal fees and expenses in connection with these matters. As of June 30, 2009, $2.0 million in insurance proceeds related to these legal actions was collected and we estimate that $4.1 million of such legal fees and expenses are probable for future recovery under our Directors and Officers insurance policy. This amount is included in our prepaids and other current assets as of June 30, 2009.

We also recorded a $1.0 million insurance claims receivable related to business interruption losses and damages incurred as a result of Hurricane Ike as of December 31, 2008. As of June 30, 2009, the Company estimates that $1.0 million of the $2.3 million loss incurred during 2008 and the first half of 2009 for Hurricane Ike are probable for recovery through insurance.

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Rating: 3.0/5 (3 votes)


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