News Release


Contact: David Amy, EVP & Chief Financial Officer

Lucy Rutishauser, VP-Corporate Finance & Treasurer

(410) 568-1500

SINCLAIR REPORTS $0.73 DILUTED EARNINGS PER SHARE IN FOURTH QUARTER 2012; DECLARES $0.15 QUARTERLY DIVIDEND PER SHARE

BALTIMORE (February 6, 2013) -- Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI), the "Company" or "Sinclair," today reported financial results for the three months and twelve months ended December 31, 2012.

"2012 was a remarkable year for our Company," commented David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair. "We successfully closed on 30 TV stations, recorded record levels of political advertising, benefited from a rebound in the automotive advertising category, and achieved historic levels in key financial metrics. As we look forward to 2013, we are very excited about our prospects, including starting the year with the Super Bowl on our 11 CBS stations. While we have led the current consolidation trend in the broadcast industry, we believe there are still many opportunities for us to continue to acquire quality television assets, unlock hidden value, and strengthen our competitive position."

Financial Results:

"Discontinued Operations" accounting has been adopted in the financial statements for all periods presented in this press release for the sale of WLAJ-TV, our ABC affiliate in Lansing, Michigan which is expected to close in February 2013, and for the sale of WLWC-TV, our CW affiliate in the Providence, RI/New Bedford, MA market which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013. Therefore, the related results from operations, net of related income taxes, have been reclassified from income from continuing operations and reflected as net income from discontinued operations. Prior current year amounts have been reclassified to conform to current year GAAP presentation.

Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $287.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 58.8% versus the prior year period result of $180.8 million. The Company had operating income of $119.1 million in the three-month period, as compared to operating income of $63.5 million in the prior year period. Net income attributable to the Company was $59.0 million in the three-month period, versus net income of $22.7 million in the prior year period.

The Company reported diluted earnings per common share of $0.73 for the three-month period ended December 31, 2012 versus diluted earnings per common share of $0.28 in the prior year period.

Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $920.6 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 42.1% versus the prior year period result of $648.0 million. The Company had operating income of $329.3 million in the twelve-month period, as compared to operating income of $225.6 million in the prior year period. Net income attributable to the Company was $144.7 million in the twelve-month period, versus net income of $75.8 million in the prior year period.

The Company reported diluted earnings per common share of $1.78 in the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2012 versus diluted earnings per common share of $0.94 in the prior year period.

Operating Statistics and Income Statement Highlights:

  • Political revenues were $54.1 million and $96.9 million in the fourth quarter and full year 2012, respectively, versus $4.1 million and $8.3 million in fourth quarter and full year 2011, respectively.

  • Local net broadcast revenues, which include local time sales, retransmission revenues, and other broadcast revenues, were up 33.7% in the fourth quarter 2012, while national net broadcast revenues, which include national time sales and other national broadcast revenues, were up 58.8% versus the fourth quarter 2011. Excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues were up 29.3% and national net broadcast revenues were up 41.5% in the fourth quarter 2012 versus the fourth quarter of 2011. On a same station basis, excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues were down 2.0% due primarily to increased demand from political advertising, while national net broadcast revenues were up 1.5%, versus the fourth quarter of 2011.

  • Advertising categories, on a same station basis, that reported the largest spending increases in the fourth quarter 2012, as compared to the same period last year, were automotive, which was up 6.4%, and direct response. Categories that declined were services, schools, pharmaceuticals, and restaurants.

  • In December, the Company closed on the purchase from Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. of the non-license assets of KBTV-TV (FOX) in the Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX market for $12.5 million.

  • In December, the Company closed on the purchase of six television stations owned by Newport Television and acquired Newport's rights under local marketing agreements to operate two additional television stations. The Company also closed on agreements with Deerfield Media, Inc., selling Deerfield the license assets of Sinclair's station in San Antonio (KMYS CW) and Sinclair's station in Cincinnati (WSTR MY). Additionally, Deerfield purchased the license assets of WPMI and WJTC in the Mobile/Pensacola market from Newport and the license assets of KBTV in Beaumont from Nexstar. Sinclair is providing sales and other non-programming services to each of these five stations pursuant to shared services and joint sales agreements.

  • In December, Sinclair purchased the non-license assets of Newport's station, WHAM-TV (ABC) in Rochester, New York for $54.0 million plus the option to acquire the license assets. Sinclair is providing sales and other non-programming services pursuant to a shared service and joint sales agreement.

  • On December 31, the Company closed on the purchase of the non-license assets of GoCom Media, Inc's three television stations, WRSP (FOX), WCCU (FOX), WBUI (CW), in the Champaign/Springfield/Decatur, Illinois market for approximately $25.6 million. Sinclair is providing sales and other non-programming services to the stations pursuant to shared services and joint sales agreements.

  • In December, the Company entered into a multi-year retransmission consent agreement with Mediacom Communications.

  • Effective January 1, 2013, the Company entered into a six-year affiliation agreement with the CBS Network on its Portland, ME and Cedar Rapids, IA affiliates, expiring December 31, 2018.

  • In January 2013, the Company entered into an agreement to sell the assets of WLWC-TV (CW) in the Providence, RI/New Bedford, MA market to OTA Broadcasting LLC for $13.75 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter 2013, subject to FCC approval and closing conditions.

  • In January, FOX Television Stations notified the Company that it would not exercise its option to purchase Sinclair's stations in any of the following television markets: Raleigh, NC (WRDC/MNT and WLFL/CW); Las Vegas, NV (KVMY/MNT and KVCW/CW); Cincinnati, OH (WSTR/MNT); and Norfolk, VA (WTVZ/MNT). The option was due to expire March 30, 2013. Pursuant to its affiliation agreement entered into in May 2012, Sinclair is required to pay the last installment payment to FOX in the amount of $25 million, which is due April 26, 2013.

Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Highlights:

  • Debt on the balance sheet, net of $22.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, was $2,250.5 million at December 31, 2012 versus net debt of $1,682.2 million at September 30, 2012.

  • As of December 31, 2012, 52.3 million Class A common shares and 28.9 million Class B common shares were outstanding, for a total of 81.2 million common shares outstanding.

  • On December 14, 2012, the Company paid a $1.00 per share special dividend and a $0.15 per share quarterly cash dividend to its shareholders.

  • Capital expenditures in the fourth quarter 2012 were $13.9 million.

  • Program contract payments for continuing operations were $17.5 million in the fourth quarter 2012.

Notes:

Presentation of financial information for the prior year has been reclassified to conform to the presentation of generally accepted accounting principles for the current year.

The management fees associated with the Freedom Communications ("Freedom") local marketing agreement, which was terminated April 1, 2012 upon acquisition, are reflected in other net broadcast revenues.

Forward-Looking Statements:

The matters discussed in this news release, particularly those in the section labeled "Outlook," include forward-looking statements regarding, among other things, future operating results. When used in this news release, the words "outlook," "intends to," "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "achieves," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results in the future could differ materially and adversely from those described in the forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, but not limited to, the impact of changes in national and regional economies, the volatility in the U.S. and global economies and financial credit markets which impact our ability to forecast, our ability to integrate acquired businesses and maximize operating synergies, our ability to obtain necessary governmental approvals for announced acquisitions, successful execution of outsourcing agreements, pricing and demand fluctuations in local and national advertising, volatility in programming costs, the market's acceptance of new programming and performance of, the CW Television Network and MyNetworkTV programming, our news share strategy, our local sales initiatives, the execution of retransmission consent agreements, our ability to identify and consummate investments in attractive non-television assets and to achieve anticipated returns on those investments once consummated, and any other risk factors set forth in the Company's most recent reports on Form 10-Q, Form 10-K and Form 8-K, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There can be no assurances that the assumptions and other factors referred to in this release will occur. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements except as required by law.

Outlook:

In accordance with Regulation FD, Sinclair is providing public dissemination through this news release of its expectations for certain components of its first quarter 2013 and full year 2013 financial performance. The Company assumes no obligation to update its expectations. All matters discussed in this "Outlook" section are forward-looking and, therefore, readers should not place any undue reliance on this information and should refer to the "Forward-Looking Statements" section above.

The term "Acquisition(s)" in this Outlook section refers to the recently acquired Newport stations, KBTV and the GoCom stations for the first quarter and full year 2013, and the Freedom stations for the first quarter 2013 only.

"After ending 2012 with record levels of political advertising, we are excited about the Company's operating direction and our drivers for 2013," commented David Amy, EVP and CFO. "Early estimates for sales in the automotive industry, which is our largest advertising category, reflect 9.0% growth that we expect will translate into increased ad revenues for us. As a result of the many stations we acquired in 2012, we believe our more balanced portfolio of "big four" network-affiliated stations will allow us to increase our revenue share, especially given our content offering of highly rated shows such as the local news and sports. This was evident in the $2.5 million in Super Bowl revenues we booked this February."

  • The Company expects first quarter 2013 station net broadcast revenues from continuing operations, before barter, to be approximately $251.9 million to $254.9 million, up 32.0% to 33.5% as compared to first quarter 2012 results of $190.9 million. This assumes approximately $0.4 million and $2.5 million in political and Super Bowl revenues, respectively, in the first quarter 2013, as compared to $3.6 million and $0.1 million in the first quarter 2012. The 2013 first quarter net broadcast revenue estimates assume $62.6 million related to the Acquisitions. Excluding the Acquisitions, same station net broadcast revenues in the first quarter 2013 are estimated to be up 3.4% to 5.0% versus the first quarter 2012, and up 5.2% to 6.9% excluding political.

  • The Company expects barter revenue to be approximately $22.0 million in the first quarter 2013.

  • The Company expects barter expense to be approximately $22.0 million in the first quarter 2013.

  • The Company expects continuing operations station production expenses and station selling, general and administrative expenses (together, "television expenses"), before barter expense, to be approximately $134.9 million in the first quarter and $547.6 million for 2013, as compared to the 2012 actuals of $95.5 million and $426.8 million for the first quarter and year, respectively. The 2013 estimates assume $34.7 million and $96.5 million related to the Acquisitions for the quarter and year, respectively. The 2013 expense forecast includes $1.6 million of stock-based compensation expense for the year, as compared to $1.7 million for 2012. Excluding the Acquisitions, same station television expenses are expected to be up approximately 14.3% and 9.4% in the first quarter and full year 2013, respectively. This assumes the stations are at full staffing levels and the maximum bonus potential is earned.

  • The Company expects program contract amortization expense to be approximately $20.4 million in the first quarter and $80.0 million for 2013, as compared to the 2012 actuals of $14.1 million and $61.0 million for the quarter and year, respectively. The 2013 estimates assume $2.6 million and $9.1 million for the quarter and year respectively, related to the Acquisitions.

  • The Company expects program contract payments to be approximately $21.6 million in the first quarter and $85.0 million for 2013, as compared to the 2012 actuals of $16.4 million and $69.0 million for the quarter and year, respectively. The 2013 estimates assume $2.1 million and $8.3 million for the quarter and year respectively, related to the Acquisitions.

  • The Company expects corporate overhead to be approximately $10.3 million in the first quarter 2013, which includes $2.9 million of stock-based compensation, and $35.2 million for the full year, as compared to the 2012 actuals of $9.4 million and $33.4 million for the quarter and year, respectively. This includes $4.4 million of stock-based compensation expense for 2013 as compared to $4.2 million for 2012.

  • The Company expects other operating division revenues less other operating division expenses to be $1.9 million of income in the first quarter and $12.8 million of income for 2013 (assuming current equity interests), as compared to the 2012 actuals of $1.7 million of income in the quarter and $8.0 million of income for the year.

  • The Company expects depreciation on property and equipment to be approximately $16.0 million in the first quarter and $62.4 million for 2013 (assuming the capital expenditure assumptions below), as compared to the 2012 actuals of $9.3 million and $47.1 million for the quarter and year, respectively.

  • The Company expects amortization of acquired intangibles to be approximately $14.3 million in the first quarter and $55.9 million for 2013, as compared to the 2012 actuals of $5.8 million and $38.1 million for the quarter and year, respectively.

  • The Company expects net interest expense to be approximately $37.8 million in the first quarter and $151.7 million (approximately $139.3 million on a cash basis) for 2013, assuming no changes in the current interest rate yield curve or changes in debt levels based on the assumptions discussed in this "Outlook" section. This compares to the 2012 actuals of $27.4 million and $128.40 million ($117.5 million on a cash basis) for the first quarter and year, respectively.

  • The Company expects a current tax provision from continuing operations of approximately $7.9 million and $38.6 million in the first quarter and for the full year 2013, respectively, based on the assumptions discussed in this "Outlook" section. The Company expects the effective tax rate to be approximately 36.3% and 36.2% for the first quarter and 2013, respectively. The Company expects to pay cash taxes of $43.5 million for 2013.

  • The Company expects to spend approximately $9.9 million in capital expenditures in the first quarter and approximately $39.0 million for 2013. The 2013 estimate assumes $3.8 million related to the Acquisitions.

The senior management of Sinclair will hold a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter 2012 results on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. ET. After the call, an audio replay will be available at www.sbgi.net under "Investor Information/Earnings Webcast." The press and the public will be welcome on the call in a listen-only mode. The dial-in number is (877) 407-9205.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries

Preliminary Unaudited Consolidated Statements of Operations

(in thousands, except per share data)

 

Three Months Ended December 31,

 

Twelve Months Ended December 31,

 

2012

 

2011

 

2012

 

2011

REVENUES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Station broadcast revenues, net of agency commissions

$ 287,100

 

$ 180,795

 

$ 920,593

 

$ 648,002

Revenues realized from station barter arrangements

26,845

 

19,541

 

86,905

 

72,773

Other operating divisions revenues

15,572

 

12,440

 

54,181

 

44,513

Total revenues

329,517

 

212,776

 

1,061,679

 

765,288

OPERATING EXPENSES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Station production expenses

71,458

 

51,857

 

255,556

 

178,612

Station selling, general and administrative expenses

50,817

 

31,843

 

171,279

 

123,938

Expenses recognized from station barter arrangements

24,715

 

17,669

 

79,834

 

65,742

Amortization of program contract costs and net realizable value adjustments

17,425

 

13,962

 

60,990

 

52,079

Other operating divisions expenses

13,014

 

13,384

 

46,179

 

39,486

Depreciation of property and equipment

13,042

 

9,351

 

47,073

 

32,874

Corporate general and administrative expenses

8,225

 

6,784

 

33,391

 

28,310

Amortization of definite-lived intangible and other assets

11,724

 

4,426

 

38,099

 

18,229

Impairment of goodwill, intangible and other assets

-

 

-

 

-

 

398

Total operating expenses

210,420

 

149,276

 

732,401

 

539,668

Operating income

119,097

 

63,500

 

329,278

 

225,620

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest expense and amortization of debt discount and deferred financing costs

(36,552)

 

(27,564)

 

(128,553)

 

(106,128)

Loss from extinguishment of debt

 

(328)

 

(335)

 

(4,847)

Income from equity and cost method investments

1,327

 

363

 

9,670

 

3,269

Gain on insurance settlement

10

 

19

 

47

 

1,742

Other income, net

537

 

447

 

2,233

 

1,717

Total other expense

(34,678)

 

(27,063)

 

(116,938)

 

(104,247)

Income from continuing operations before income taxes

84,419

 

36,437

 

212,340

 

121,373

INCOME TAX PROVISION

(25,667)

 

(13,084)

 

(67,852)

 

(44,785)

Income from continuing operations

58,752

 

23,353

 

144,488

 

76,588

DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, includes income tax provision of $444, $111, $663 and $477, respectively

643

 

(111)

 

465

 

(411)

NET INCOME

59,395

 

23,242

 

144,953

 

76,177

Net income attributable to the noncontrolling interests

(393)

 

(540)

 

(287)

 

(379)

NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP

$ 59,002

 

$ 22,702

 

$ 144,666

 

$ 75,798

Dividends declared per share

$ 1.15

 

$ 0.12

 

$ 1.54

 

$ 0.48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASIC AND DILUTED EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic earnings per share from continuing operations

$ 0.72

 

$ 0.28

 

$ 1.78

 

$ 0.95

Basic earnings per share

$ 0.73

 

$ 0.28

 

$ 1.79

 

$ 0.94

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations

$ 0.72

 

$ 0.28

 

$ 1.78

 

$ 0.95

Diluted earnings per share

$ 0.73

 

$ 0.28

 

$ 1.78

 

$ 0.94

Weighted average common shares outstanding

81,109

 

80,779

 

81,020

 

80,217

Weighted average common and common equivalent shares outstanding

81,440

 

81,119

 

81,310

 

80,532

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AMOUNTS ATTRIBUTABLE TO SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP COMMON SHAREHOLDERS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations, net of tax

$ 58,359

 

$ 22,813

 

$ 144,201

 

$ 76,209

Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax

643

 

(111)

 

465

 

(411)

Net income

$ 59,002

 

$ 22,702

 

$ 144,666

 

$ 75,798

 

Preliminary Unaudited Consolidated Historical Selected Balance Sheet Data:

(In thousands)

 

December 31,

2012

September 30,

2012

Cash & cash equivalents

$ 22,865

$ 44,625

Total current assets

304,448

289,158

Total long term assets

2,425,249

1,956,378

Total assets

$ 2,729,697

2,245,536

 

 

 

Current portion of debt

49,326

47,871

Total current liabilities

307,600

303,238

Long term portion of debt

2,224,053

1,678,918

Total long term liabilities

2,522,150

1,994,682

Total liabilities

2,829,750

2,297,920

 

 

 

Total stockholders deficit

(100,053)

(52,384)

Total liabilities & stockholders deficit

$ 2,729,697

$ 2,245,536

 

Unaudited Consolidated Historical Selected Statement of Cash Flows Data:

(In thousands)

 

Three Months Ended

December 31,

Twelve Months Ended

December 31,

 

 

2012

2012

Net cash flow from operating activities

$ 74,171

$ 237,475

Net cash flow used in investing activities

(540,021)

(1,149,284)

Net cash flow from financing activities

444,090

921,707

 

 

 

Net increase (decreases) in cash & cash equivalents

(21,760)

9,898

Cash & cash equivalents, beginning of period

44,625

12,967

Cash & cash equivalents, end of period

$ 22,865

$ 22,865

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