Emmis earnings signal improving radio business

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Emmis Communications Corp. turned a profit in its latest fiscal quarter, rebounding from a big loss in the same period of the previous year.

The Indianapolis-based media company said Wednesday that it earned $4.3 million, or 11 cents per share, in the fiscal fourth quarter compared with last year’s quarterly loss of $18.2 million, or 47 cents a share.

Overall revenue for the quarter, which ended Feb. 28, rose 2 percent, to $43.3 million.

Revenue in its key radio segment rose 3 percent, to $26.5 million. That contrasts to a 15-percent plunge in radio revenue at the same time last year.

For the entire year, profit was $41.9 million compared with $79.5 million in fiscal 2012. Annual revenue fell to $196.1 million compared with $202.2 million the year before.

“For the second year in a row we have significantly outperformed our radio markets and the radio industry. Emmis finished the year as one of the least-levered and most financially sound radio operations in the country,” Emmis founder and CEO Jeff Smulyan said in a prepared statement.

Emmis is the nation’s 9th largest radio holding company, with 21 stations, including WIBC-FM 93.1 in Indianapolis.

Emmis shares fell 6 cents Wednesday, to $1.49 each.

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