Beasley Broadcast Group Q4 Revenues Rise 9%

Beasley Broadcast Group reported fourth quarter revenue increased 9% to $58.5 million from $53.5 million in 2016. Operating income fell to $23.3 million from $49.9 million, mainly due to the $11.8 million gain on the asset exchange of WMJX-FM for WBZ-FM recorded in the 2017 Q4 versus the approximate $44.3 million gain on the acquisition of the Greater Media stations recorded in Q4 2016. The company posted Q4 net earnings of $69.7 million ($2.50 per diluted share) as compared to $41.5 million ($1.57) in the year-ago period.

CEO Caroline Beasley said, "Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.

"On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis. Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley's fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period.

"In the fourth quarter, we completed the accretive asset exchange transaction of WMJX-FM for WBZ-FM, with approximately $6 million of the $12 million cash consideration funded by additional borrowings. WBZ-FM is highly complementary to our five other radio stations and digital operations in the Boston market and its addition to our portfolio further diversifies our content offerings with marquee sports programming and live game broadcasts of several of the most prominent and competitive professional sports teams in the country."

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