A. H. Belo swings to Q3 loss of US$100,000 from profit of US$4.6M in year-ago quarter; sales down 7.7% to US$110.0M with declines in all segments including 24.5% drop in display advertising
November 1, 2011
– A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC) today announced a net loss of $0.1 million, or $0.01 per share, for the third quarter of 2011 compared to net income of $4.6 million, or $0.20 per share, in the third quarter of 2010.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ("EBITDA") was $9.2 million in the third quarter of 2011, a decrease of $5.0 million compared to the third quarter of 2010. When pension and impairment expense is added back to EBITDA ("Adjusted EBITDA") in both periods, Adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter was $10.8 million, a decrease of $5.9 million compared to the prior year period.
The third quarter 2011 net loss, EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA figures include $1.2 million of severance and related expenses.
Robert W. Decherd, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Third quarter total revenue decreased 7.7 percent compared to 2010. Inconsistent advertising trends persisted throughout the quarter. We've taken additional steps to align expenses with lower revenue expectations for the remainder of the year and 2012. We anticipate full-year 2011 Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $45 million, which assumes no gains from real estate dispositions. "
As of September 30, 2011, the Company had approximately $46 million of cash and cash equivalents, had no borrowings outstanding under its bank credit facility, and remained in compliance with bank covenants.
The Company also announced today that the Company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share, payable on December 2, 2011 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 10, 2011.
Third Quarter Results
Total revenue was $110.0 million in the third quarter of 2011, a decrease of 7.7 percent compared to the prior year period.
Advertising revenue, including print and digital revenues, decreased 12.3 percent, with the smallest percentage decrease at The Providence Journal followed by The Dallas Morning News and The Press-Enterprise . Display advertising revenue decreased 24.5 percent to $21.4 million, and preprint revenue decreased 6.7 percent to $20.5 million. Classified revenue decreased 4.5 percent to $14.7 million. Digital revenue was $8.6 million, a decrease of 0.5 percent. Advertising revenue from niche publications, which is a component of the display, preprint, classified and digital revenue figures above, decreased 9.1 percent compared to the third quarter of 2010.
Circulation revenue decreased 0.5 percent to $34.7 million as a 1.4 percent rate-driven increase at The Dallas Morning News was offset by decreases at The Press-Enterprise and The Providence Journal. Printing and distribution revenue increased 2.0 percent to $10.0 million.
Total consolidated operating expense in the third quarter was $110.3 million. Excluding the effect of pension expense in both periods, operating expense in the third quarter was $108.7 million, a 4.6 percent decrease compared to the prior year period.
The Company's newsprint expense in the third quarter was $10.3 million, an increase of 1.3 percent compared to the prior year period. Newsprint consumption dropped 7.0 percent to 16,000 metric tons. Newsprint cost per metric ton increased 8.9 percent. The average purchase price per metric ton for newsprint increased 8.7 percent.
Corporate and non-operating unit expenses in the third quarter, net of costs allocated to operating units, were $5.5 million, a decrease of 22.0 percent compared to the prior year period due to lower salaries, wages and benefits.
Capital expenditures totaled $3.0 million in the third quarter. The Company anticipates full-year 2011 capital expenditures in the $9 to $10 million range.
As of September 30, 2011, A. H. Belo had approximately 2,200 full-time equivalent employees, a decrease of 10.8 percent compared to the prior year period.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Reconciliations of net loss and net income to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are included as exhibits to this release.
Financial Results Conference Call
A. H. Belo will conduct a conference call on Wednesday, November 2 at 2:00 p.m. CDT to discuss financial results. The conference call will be available via webcast by accessing the Company's website (www.ahbelo.com/invest) or by dialing 1-800-553-5260 (USA) or 612-332-0630 (International). A replay line will be available at 1-800-475-6701 (USA) or 320-365-3844 (International) from 4:00 p.m. CDT on November 2 until 11:59 p.m. CDT on November 9, 2011. The access code for the replay is 219814.
About A. H. Belo Corporation
A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a distinguished newspaper publishing and local news and information company that owns and operates four daily newspapers and a diverse group of websites. A. H. Belo publishes The Dallas Morning News, Texas' leading newspaper and winner of nine Pulitzer Prizes; The Providence Journal, the oldest continuously-published daily newspaper in the U.S. and winner of four Pulitzer Prizes; The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA), serving the Inland Southern California region and winner of one Pulitzer Prize; and the Denton Record-Chronicle. The Company publishes various niche publications targeting specific audiences, and its partnerships and/or investments include the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium and Classified Ventures, owner of cars.com. A. H. Belo also owns and operates commercial printing, distribution and direct mail service businesses. Additional information is available at www.ahbelo.com or by contacting David A. Gross, vice president/Investor Relations and Strategic Analysis, at 214-977-4810.