Fisher Communications' Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2012 Financial Results

Broadcast Stations Drove Strong Performance

ID: 1202197
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(businesspress24) - SEATTLE, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/28/13 -- Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCI)

Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCI), a leader in local media innovation, today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

"We are pleased with our operating performance in the fourth quarter and full year of 2012. For the seventh consecutive year, Fisher broadcast stations grew core market revenue share reflecting the quality and value of our local brands, and validating the strength and execution of our strategic plan," said Colleen B. Brown, Fisher's President and Chief Executive Officer. "As we begin 2013, we remain focused on building on our momentum and creating value for our shareholders."

She added, "Completing our first full year as a pure play broadcaster, adjusted EBITDA increased 71% from prior year. Revenue growth and operational efficiencies, demonstrate the robust leverage inherent in our business model."

(All comparisons are made to the fourth quarter of 2011 unless otherwise noted)

Revenues were $52.1 million, up 12% from $46.4 million but were up 20% when excluding Fisher Plaza revenue from 2011.

Direct operating, selling, general and administrative and programming costs increased 5% or $1.8 million. This year's results included increases in Plaza rent expenses, network programming fees, costs related to various strategic initiatives and increased stock compensation expense related to the special cash dividend. 2011 expenses included a credit related to the Company's revised vacation policy and Plaza operating expenses. Excluding the items noted above, our remaining operating expenses were 4% lower than the same period last year.

Adjusted EBITDA of $17.5 million, was up 65% from $10.7 million.

EPS of $0.96 increased from $0.72 in the year ago period (excluding the after-tax gain on the sale of Fisher Plaza).

Television:

TV net revenue was up 23% year-over-year to $46.7 million driven by strong political issue and candidacy placements.

Net TV revenue (excluding political) decreased 2% to $33.9 million as the Pacific Northwest continued to experience softening in national spot advertising.

TV core advertising revenue decreased 11% to $24.2 million with weakness most notable in our professional services and automotive categories, which decreased 23% and 6% respectively, while the retail category was flat.

Retransmission consent revenue increased 81% to $6.1 million, the result of renewed contracts.

TV cash flow increased 55% to $20.7 million; TV cash flow margin was 44%, up from 35% due to an increase in political spending and retransmission consent revenue.

Political revenue increased 267% to $12.9 million due to increased issue and candidacy placements.

Radio:

Radio net revenue was relatively flat at $5.5 million.

Radio cash flow was relatively flat at $1.4 million; radio cash flow margin of 26% was also in-line with the fourth quarter of 2011.

(All comparisons are made to full-year 2011 unless otherwise noted)

Revenues were up 3% to $168.2 million, and were up 12% when excluding Fisher Plaza revenue from 2011.

Direct operating, selling, general and administrative and programming costs increased 1% or $2.0 million. This year's results included increases in Plaza rent expenses, network programming fees, costs related to various strategic initiatives and increased stock compensation expense related to the special cash dividend. 2011 expenses included proxy costs, credit related to the Company's revised vacation policy and Plaza operating expenses. Excluding the items noted above, our remaining operating expenses were 2% lower than 2011.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 71% to $36 million.

EPS of $1.47 increased from $1.09 in 2011 (excluding the after-tax gain on the sale of Fisher Plaza).

Television:

TV net revenues increased 15% to $147.3 million due to increased political spending and retransmission consent revenue.

Net TV revenue (excluding political) increased 5% to $129.4 million.

TV core advertising revenue declined 3% to $94.1 million due in large part to a 6% decline in our professional services category on lower insurance spending and a 3% decline in our telecom category due to lower cellular provider spending. These declines were partially offset by a 6% increase in automotive due to increased dealership spending and a 5% increase in retail advertising.

Retransmission consent revenue increased 66% to $22.2 million, the result of renewed contracts.

TV cash flow increased $17.4 million to $49.0 million or 33% cash flow margin, up from 25% cash flow margin in 2011.

Political revenue increased 274% to $18 million due to increased issue and candidacy placements.

Radio:

Radio net revenue declined 2% to $21 million.

Radio cash flow was up 14% to $5.5 million; radio cash flow margin was 26%, an increase from 23% in 2011.

Flagship station KOMO-TV surpassed market leading rival in key demographics for the first time in more than a decade.

Announced the agreement to acquire the operating assets of television station KMTR TV in Eugene, Oregon, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.

Cash and cash equivalents were $20.4 million at year end, compared to $176.5 million at the end of 2011, reflecting $93 million of dividends paid and shares repurchased and retirement of senior debt of $62 million.

Fisher remains debt free and has established a $30 million senior secured revolving credit facility.

The Company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share on its common stock payable on March 29, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 19, 2013.

Fisher will host a conference call today at 1:30 p.m. (PST). Senior management will discuss the financial results and host a question and answer session. The dial-in number for the audio conference call is 1-888-713-4215, international callers should dial 1-617-213-4867; confirmation code 95513592. A live audio webcast of the call will be accessible to the public on Fisher's website, .

Replay of the conference call will be available approximately two hours after the live call ends and will be available for one week following the call. To access the replay, dial 1-888-286-8010. International callers should dial 1-617-801-6888 to access the replay. The passcode for the replay is 63828653.

The Company reports and discusses its operating results using financial measures consistent with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and believes this should be the primary basis for evaluating its performance.

The preceding discussion of our results includes a discussion of non-GAAP financial measures such as Television cash flow, Radio cash flow, net income, excluding the after tax impact on sale of Fisher Plaza, net, Broadcast cash flow and Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) and Adjusted EBITDA. These non-GAAP measures should not be viewed as alternatives or substitutes for GAAP reporting.

The Company believes the presentation of these non-GAAP measures is useful to investors because they are used by lenders to measure the Company's ability to service debt; by industry analysts to determine the market value of stations and their operating performance; and by management to identify the cash available to service debt, make strategic acquisitions and investments, maintain capital assets and fund ongoing operations and working capital needs; and, because they reflect the most up-to-date operating results of the stations inclusive of pending acquisitions, time brokerage agreements or local marketing agreements. Management believes they also provide an additional basis from which investors can establish forecasts and valuations for the Company's business.

Television and radio cash flow are calculated as television and radio segment income from operations plus amortization of broadcast rights, non-cash charges, Internet and trade expenses minus payments for broadcast rights and Internet revenue. Broadcast cash flow is calculated by adding the Television and radio cash flow.

Net income, excluding the after tax impact on sale of Fisher Plaza, net is calculated as net income less the gain on Fisher Plaza, net, adjusted by the estimated tax impact of the gain by applying the annual effective tax rate.

EBITDA is calculated as income from operations plus amortization of broadcast rights; depreciation and amortization; stock-based compensation; loss on disposal of property, plant and equipment, net; proxy related costs; and non-cash charges minus payments for broadcast rights; gain on sale of real estate, net; Plaza fire reimbursements, net; and amortization of non-cash benefit resulting from a change in national advertising representation firm.

Adjusted EBITDA excludes Plaza rent expense and Plaza EBITDA in 2011. Plaza EBITDA is calculated as Plaza segment income from operations. Management believes this presentation of Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors because it provides investors with a comparable measure given the impact of the disposition and subsequent operating lease of Fisher Plaza.

For a reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measurements to the GAAP financial results cited in this press release, please see the supplemental tables at the end of this release.

Fisher Communications, Inc. is a Seattle-based communications Company that owns and operates 13 full power television stations, seven low power television stations, three owned radio stations and one managed radio station in the Western United States. The Company also owns and operates Fisher Interactive Network, its online division (including over 120 online sites) and Fisher Pathways, a satellite and fiber transmission provider. For more information about Fisher Communications, Inc., go to .

This news release includes forward-looking statements. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events. Forward-looking statements include information preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words "guidance," "believes," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "could," or similar expressions. For these statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release, including, among other things, statements related to changes in revenue, cash flow and operating expenses, and the expected closing of the KMTR TV transaction involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various important factors, including the impact of changes in national and regional economies, the competitiveness of political races and voter initiatives, successful integration of acquired television stations (including achievement of synergies and cost reductions), pricing fluctuations in local and national advertising, future regulatory actions and conditions in the television stations' operating areas, competition from others in the broadcast television markets served by the Company, volatility in programming costs, the effects of governmental regulation of broadcasting, industry consolidation, technological developments and major world news events. Unless required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this news release might not occur. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. For more details on factors that could affect these expectations, please see the risk factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, which we have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contacts:


Addo Communications
310-829-5400



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Date: 02/28/2013 - 15:01
Language: English
News-ID 1202197
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Firma: Fisher Communications, Inc.
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