News

TEGNA Inc. Reports 2020 Second Quarter Results

Eight percent revenue growth during unprecedented market conditions

Full year political advertising revenue now expected to be at least $370 million

Full year subscription revenue still expected to be up mid-twenties percent

TYSONS, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) today announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2020.1

SECOND QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Total company revenue was $578 million in the quarter, up eight percent year-over-year. The increase was driven by acquisitions, continued growth in subscription revenue, and political revenue, partially offset by advertising declines as a result of COVID-19.
  • Excluding political advertising, second quarter revenue grew five percent year-over-year.
  • Second quarter subscription revenue of $323 million was up 37 percent due to rate increases and acquisitions, reflecting the 50 percent of subscribers repriced in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • Due to COVID-19, advertising and marketing services revenue was down 21 percent year-over-year, but increased steadily throughout the quarter; the rate of decline improved by more than 20 percentage points from April to June.
  • Despite a highly challenging environment, TEGNA achieved net income of $20 million in the second quarter on a GAAP basis, or $27 million on a non-GAAP basis.
  • GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.09 in the second quarter and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.12.
  • Total company Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter was $124 million.
  • Free cash flow for the second quarter was $96 million. The Company ended the quarter with total debt of $4.1 billion and net leverage of 4.76x.2

FINANCIAL AND LIQUIDITY UPDATES:

  • TEGNA ended the second quarter with $173 million in cash and expects to remain cash flow positive for each quarter for the remainder of the year.
  • TEGNA finished the quarter with more than $650 million in undrawn capacity under the revolving credit facility.
  • TEGNA paid down $25 million on a term loan maturing in June and now has near-term remaining maturities of $75 million in 2020 and $350 million in the second half of 2021.
  • On June 11, 2020 TEGNA amended the leverage covenant in its credit agreement to extend the step-down of the maximum permitted total leverage ratio from 5.50x to 5.25x until March 31, 2022, with additional step downs continuing thereafter as scheduled; the revised terms provide additional financial flexibility given current market conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

1 Throughout, “acquisitions” includes (1) the Nexstar/Tribune Acquisitions, (2) the Dispatch Acquisitions and (3) multicast networks Justice Network and Quest.

2 The leverage ratio used for our single financial covenant in our revolving credit agreement was 4.73x as of the end of the quarter. The primary difference between the two leverage ratios is the definition of Adjusted EBITDA in the revolving credit agreement version requires additional adjustments to add back non-cash compensation and contractual synergy benefits during periods in the trailing eight quarters that preceded the acquisition.

CEO COMMENT

“Our second quarter performance reflects our ability to execute on TEGNA’s five-pillar strategy in any economic environment. The actions we have taken leading up to and during the COVID-19 pandemic have positioned TEGNA for continued shareholder value creation, while we also remain focused on all our stakeholders, who rely on us now more than ever. We have continued to serve the greater good by providing critical information to viewers during these challenging times, through our “Facts Not Fear” editorial philosophy,” said Dave Lougee, president and chief executive officer.

“For our shareholders, our second quarter performance is proof that our strategy to build a more diversified, durable business is working. TEGNA remains uniquely positioned for continued subscription revenue growth due to successful negotiations at the end of 2019, receiving top of market Big Four affiliate rates across half of our subscribers with approximately another 35 percent of subscribers up at the end of 2020. We still expect our full year subscription revenue to be up mid-twenties percent. Additionally, we did not see an acceleration in subscription declines from April to May, better than we anticipated at the onset of the pandemic.

“We are also positioned to benefit from anticipated record political advertising spending this year, as races are turning more competitive within the TEGNA footprint, which includes our expanded reach in key battleground states as a result of recently closed acquisitions. Our strong portfolio of Big Four affiliates with strong local news remains the preferred medium to reach targeted constituents, and our stations play a critical role in political marketing strategies. We now expect political revenues to contribute at least $370 million for the full year, an increase from our prior estimate.

“The significant declines in advertising and marketing revenues that began in late March improved by more than 20 percentage points through June, and our sales and marketing teams have innovated with advertisers to adapt to this dynamic environment. Although we can’t be certain when the broader advertising industry will fully recover from the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, our long-term value proposition to advertisers remains intact. That includes the relevance and demand for our local platforms which has only grown stronger.

“In the quarter, we continued to act in accordance with our prudent expense management strategy, taking action at the beginning of the pandemic to manage discretionary costs. The result was a nearly $40 million expense reduction from our original plan. The innovation required to operate in this environment has provided us new learnings that will turn into permanent efficiencies. These actions will be combined with the continuous streamlining of our business processes and companywide cost saving initiatives that have been in place well before the recent downturn. Together, these will benefit our cash flows, and long-term health of the business, over time.

“Overall television viewing has expanded across demographics for both daytime and late news time slots. Digital viewership saw an even greater rise in consumption, setting records in 2020 across key digital metrics such as visitors, video plays, and monthly active users. TEGNA reached a record 87 million visitors across owned platforms in March, and is averaging 75 million monthly visitors in 2020, with June the second highest month ever.

“While I am proud of our financial performance, since the onset of COVID-19, our number one priority has been the physical health and safety and emotional and economic wellbeing of our colleagues. Our entire team has shown extraordinary resilience during a time of unprecedented change and national uncertainty. This has allowed us to serve our other key stakeholders – the communities we serve.

“In the wake of the global pandemic, our audiences on all platforms have been appreciative of our “Facts Not Fear” philosophy of editorial coverage, using our VERIFY franchise and great reporting to make facts and context the antidote to the anxiety produced by some national news and social media outlets. On May 25th, in the hometown of our KARE-11 station in Minneapolis, the world changed again, and forever, with the murder of George Floyd. No local journalism company has been more at the local epicenter of this story, shedding light on the nuances between peaceful protests and the small number of non-peaceful incidents across our stations, that include markets with the largest degree of public engagement, including Washington D.C., Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Louisville and Atlanta, and of course Minneapolis.

“At TEGNA, we are committed to taking this seminal moment in American history and doing our part to bring change, beginning with a new process of assessing and holding ourselves accountable for our own recruitment, hiring, development and promotion practices. And we will, in turn, create new accountability for how our powerful local media platforms reflect our communities in our editorial practices and our news products. One example is a recent initiative discussed by our Board of Directors, whereby we are defining specific areas of oversight for each committee around the way that TEGNA approaches diversity across a number of different dimensions.

“Looking forward, we are confident in TEGNA’s ability to perform, even if our economy experiences a slow recovery. During these unprecedented times, we will continue to provide purpose-driven, impactful local journalism to viewers and increase engagement with the communities we serve across all of our platforms.”

OVERVIEW OF SECOND QUARTER RESULTS

Total company revenue increased eight percent in the quarter, driven by acquisitions, continued growth in subscription revenue, and political revenue partially offset by advertising declines as a result of COVID-19.

Subscription revenue grew 37 percent year-over-year due to rate increases and acquisitions, partially offset by subscriber declines.

Advertising and marketing services revenue decreased 21 percent in the quarter compared to last year, due to reduced demand in the quarter from the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. These underlying revenues sequentially improved throughout the quarter since the most significant impact felt at the onset of the pandemic in late March.

GAAP operating expenses were $503 million, up 28 percent, and non-GAAP operating expenses were $487 million, up 24 percent year-over-year. Expenses less programming costs increased 13 percent. The expense increase was predominantly driven by acquisitions and higher programming expenses related to growth in subscription revenues, partially offset by lower cost of sales as a result of lower revenue, as well as reductions in discretionary spending. Companywide cost saving efforts made in the second quarter included payroll savings through a hiring freeze, temporary one-week employee furloughs, pay reductions, suspension of travel and entertainment (T&E) costs, and reduced discretionary operational expenses.

GAAP operating income totaled $75 million, and non-GAAP operating income totaled $90 million in the second quarter. Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure detailed in Table 3) totaled $124 million in the quarter and Adjusted EBITDA margin equaled 21.5 percent. Adjusted EBITDA excluding corporate expenses was $137 million, which resulted in a margin of 23.8 percent.

The second quarter included a few special items, the full details of which can be found in Table 2. The net effect of these items was to increase GAAP net income by $7 million and GAAP diluted net income per share by $0.03.

Interest expense in the quarter increased to $52 million compared to $46 million in the second quarter of 2019, due to higher average debt balances as a result of acquisition activity partially offset by a lower average interest rate due to the refinancings undertaken in 2019 and 2020. Total cash at the end of the quarter was $173 million and unused capacity under TEGNA’s revolving credit facility was more than $650 million.

UPDATE ON KEY RECENT STRATEGIC, CONTENT AND PROGRAMMING INITATIVES

  • Premion Capitalizes on Over-the-Top (OTT) Ad Growth – While Premion is affected by the pandemic like all advertising businesses, it is benefiting from the growth of viewing on streaming services and outperformed traditional TV advertising in the quarter. The rollout of our previously announced partnership with Gray is progressing on schedule.
  • TEGNA Digital Platforms Achieve Record Audience – In each of April, May and June, TEGNA hit 75+ million unduplicated, multi-platform digital visitors according to Comscore and has been ranked in the Top 50 Digital U.S. Properties for five consecutive months, ranking higher than digital sites such as Reddit, Buzzfeed, and LinkedIn.
  • TEGNA Debuts New Audience Engagement Tools – In the quarter, TEGNA launched “Near Me,” a mobile app feature that allows audience members to share photos and videos and see station-produced and user-generated content down to the neighborhood and street level.
  • Expanded Fact-Based Reporting Initiative VERIFY – From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing through the nationwide protests for racial and civil justice, TEGNA stations have seen a much greater demand for VERIFY content, and have responded to help audiences distinguish between real and false information. In August, VERIFY launched on Snapchat’s Discovery platform, which reaches 88 million daily active users in North America and serves younger audiences.
  • VAULT Studios Launches Latest Major Podcast Project –– On May 6, VAULT Studios announced the premiere of SELENA: A STAR DIES IN TEXAS, a six-part podcast series developed in partnership with TEGNA’s Texas stations as a part of our growing true crime initiative. (Press release)
  • Justice Network Relaunches as True Crime Network – On July 27, TEGNA’s Justice Network, its leading multicast television network, relaunched as True Crime Network, including a free, ad supported OTT streaming service and apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple iOS and Android. (Press release)
  • Expansion of Attribution Partnership with Alphonso – On July 8, TEGNA entered into a renewed and expanded partnership with TV data and measurement company Alphonso to include all of Premion, linear and OTT and advertising platforms. The multi-year agreement will continue to provide TEGNA with metrics to help our advertising partners make more informed, data-driven decisions.
  • TEGNA Recognized for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism – TEGNA won 88 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards across 29 stations, more than any other local broadcast television group, for excellence in areas including innovation, multimedia, and social media. Additionally, WUSA9, TEGNA’s CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., won five Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation for exemplary programming created by, for, and about women in media and entertainment. (Press release; press release)

CAPITAL ALLOCATION

TEGNA’s solid balance sheet and the deliberate financing decisions made leading up to and during the recent market instability are the result of a disciplined and flexible capital allocation program. The agreement with lenders to amend TEGNA’s credit agreement to extend the first step-down of the debt coverage covenant by 15 months, before reverting to the normal schedule, provides the Company with additional flexibility in an uncertain market environment. In addition to a continued focus on debt pay-down and the additional flexibility created with the covenant amendment, TEGNA has also continued to return capital to shareholders, including through its regular quarterly dividend payment, the last of which was announced on July 22, 2020. TEGNA continues to evaluate the most appropriate use of capital given the current market environment, with a focus on debt reduction.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Certain statements in this communication may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are subject to a number of risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results or company actions to differ materially from what is expressed or implied by these statements, including risks relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its effect on our revenues, particularly our non-political advertising revenues. Potential regulatory actions, changes in consumer behaviors and impacts on and modifications to TEGNA’s operations and business relating thereto and TEGNA’s ability to execute on its standalone plan can also cause actual results to differ materially. Other economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors and risks that may affect TEGNA’s operations or financial results are discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and in subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements other than as required by law.

CONFERENCE CALL

TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) will host a conference call to discuss its second quarter 2020 earnings results on Monday, August 10, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (ET). TEGNA’s earnings announcement will be released to news outlets and wire services before the market opens on August 10. Materials related to the call will be available at that time through the Investor Relations section of TEGNA’s website, investors.TEGNA.com.The conference call, which will also be webcast through the company’s website, is open to investors, the financial community, the media and other members of the public. To join the call toll-free, dial 800-353-6461 at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled 10:00 a.m. (ET) start time. International callers should dial 334-323-0501. The confirmation code for the conference call is 8033615. To listen to the call via live webcast, please visit investors.TEGNA.com and allow at least 10 minutes to access TEGNA’s home page and complete the links before the webcast begins. A replay of the conference call will be available under “Investor Relations” at www.TEGNA.com from Monday, August 10 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) to Monday, August 24 at 2:00 p.m. (ET). To access the replay, dial 888-203-1112 or 719-457-0820. The confirmation code for the replay is 8033615. A transcript of the conference call will also be made available on the company’s website.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is an innovative media company that serves the greater good of our communities. Across platforms, TEGNA tells empowering stories, conducts impactful investigations and delivers innovative marketing solutions. With 63 television stations in 51 markets, TEGNA is the largest owner of top 4 affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups, reaching approximately 39 percent of all television households nationwide. TEGNA also owns leading multicast networks True Crime Network and Quest. TEGNA Marketing Solutions (TMS) offers innovative solutions to help businesses reach consumers across television, email, social and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Premion, TEGNA’s OTT advertising service. For more information, visit www.TEGNA.com.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

TEGNA Inc.

Unaudited, in thousands of dollars (except per share amounts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table No. 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quarter ended June 30,

 

 

2020

 

2019

 

% Increase

(Decrease)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

 

$

577,627

 

 

$

536,932

 

 

7.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of revenues

 

355,367

 

 

285,293

 

 

24.6

 

Business units – Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

85,008

 

 

73,941

 

 

15.0

 

Corporate – General and administrative expenses

 

28,312

 

 

15,836

 

 

78.8

 

Depreciation

 

16,711

 

 

14,533

 

 

15.0

 

Amortization of intangible assets

 

17,248

 

 

8,823

 

 

95.5

 

Spectrum repacking reimbursements and other, net

 

(116

)

 

(4,306

)

 

(97.3

)

Total

 

502,530

 

 

394,120

 

 

27.5

 

Operating income

 

75,097

 

 

142,812

 

 

(47.4

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-operating income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity income (loss) in unconsolidated investments, net

 

1,921

 

 

(615

)

 

***

Interest expense

 

(51,877

)

 

(46,327

)

 

12.0

 

Other non-operating items, net

 

1,039

 

 

8,964

 

 

(88.4

)

Total

 

(48,917

)

 

(37,978

)

 

28.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income before income taxes

 

26,180

 

 

104,834

 

 

(75.0

)

Provision for income taxes

 

6,607

 

 

24,879

 

 

(73.4

)

Net income

 

19,573

 

 

79,955

 

 

(75.5

)

Net loss attributable to redeemable noncontrolling interest

 

374

 

 

 

 

***

Net income attributable to TEGNA Inc.

 

$

19,947

 

 

$

79,955

 

 

(75.1

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

0.09

 

 

$

0.37

 

 

(75.7

)

Diluted

 

$

0.09

 

 

$

0.37

 

 

(75.7

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average number of common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic shares

 

219,128

 

 

217,089

 

 

0.9

 

Diluted shares

 

219,426

 

 

217,905

 

 

0.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** Not meaningful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table No. 1 (continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six months ended June 30,

 

 

2020

 

2019

 

% Increase

(Decrease)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

 

$

1,261,816

 

 

$

1,053,685

 

 

19.8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost of revenues

 

724,735

 

 

566,604

 

 

27.9

 

Business units – Selling, general and administrative expenses

 

177,976

 

 

145,406

 

 

22.4

 

Corporate – General and administrative expenses

 

50,026

 

 

30,571

 

 

63.6

 

Depreciation

 

33,611

 

 

29,450

 

 

14.1

 

Amortization of intangible assets

 

33,464

 

 

17,512

 

 

91.1

 

Spectrum repacking reimbursements and other, net

 

(7,631

)

 

(11,319

)

 

(32.6

)

Total

 

1,012,181

 

 

778,224

 

 

30.1

 

Operating income

 

249,635

 

 

275,461

 

 

(9.4

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-operating income (expense):

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity income in unconsolidated investments, net

 

10,936

 

 

11,413

 

 

(4.2

)

Interest expense

 

(108,837

)

 

(92,712

)

 

17.4

 

Other non-operating items, net

 

(18,231

)

 

7,425

 

 

***

Total

 

(116,132

)

 

(73,874

)

 

57.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income before income taxes

 

133,503

 

 

201,587

 

 

(33.8

)

Provision for income taxes

 

27,732

 

 

47,653

 

 

(41.8

)

Net income

 

$

105,771

 

 

$

153,934

 

 

(31.3

)

Net loss attributable to redeemable noncontrolling interest

 

484

 

 

 

 

***

Net income attributable to TEGNA Inc.

 

$

106,255

 

 

$

153,934

 

 

(31.0

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings from continuing operations per share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

$

0.48

 

 

$

0.71

 

 

(32.4

)

Diluted

 

$

0.48

 

 

$

0.71

 

 

(32.4

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average number of common shares outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic shares

 

218,703

 

 

216,900

 

 

0.8

 

Diluted shares

 

219,144

 

 

217,555

 

 

0.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** Not meaningful

 

 

 

 

 

 

USE OF NON-GAAP INFORMATION

The company uses non-GAAP financial performance measures to supplement the financial information presented on a GAAP basis. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, the related GAAP measures, nor should they be considered superior to the related GAAP measures, and should be read together with financial information presented on a GAAP basis. Also, our non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies.

Management and the company’s Board of Directors use the non-GAAP financial measures for purposes of evaluating company performance. Furthermore, the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors uses non-GAAP measures such as Adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP net income, non-GAAP EPS, and free cash flow to evaluate management’s performance. The company, therefore, believes that each of the non-GAAP measures presented provides useful information to investors and other stakeholders by allowing them to view our business through the eyes of management and our Board of Directors, facilitating comparisons of results across historical periods and focus on the underlying ongoing operating performance of our business. The company also believes these non-GAAP measures are frequently used by investors, securities analysts and other interested parties in their evaluation of our business and other companies in the broadcast industry.

The company discusses in this release non-GAAP financial performance measures that exclude from its reported GAAP results the impact of “special items” consisting of spectrum repacking reimbursements and other, gains related to businesses we account for under the equity method, acquisition-related costs, advisory fees related to activism defense, M&A due diligence costs, severance costs, intangible asset impairment charges, certain non-operating expenses related to the early extinguishment of debt and a TEGNA foundation donation.

Contacts

For media inquiries, contact:

Anne Bentley

Vice President, Corporate Communications

703-873-6366

abentley@TEGNA.com

For investor inquiries, contact:

Doug Kuckelman

Head of Investor Relations

703-873-6764

dkuckelman@TEGNA.com

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