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Emmis reports quarterly loss on shrinking revenue

May 11, 2017

Emmis Communications Corp. on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss as radio revenue fell 6.6 percent.

Indianapolis-based Emmis said it lost $7.6 million, or 62 cents per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, down from $9.5 million, or 85 cents per share, in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Overall revenue was $43.5 million, down from $50.9 million in the year-ago period. Radio revenue fell from $36.5 million to $34 million and publishing revenue dropped from $14.2 million to $9.2 million.

Emmis closed on several significant asset sales in the quarter, including four radio stations in Terre Haute for about $5.2 million on Jan. 30 and four of its five remaining magazines for $6.5 million on Feb. 28.

The company also announced the sale of major Los Angeles radio station KPWR-FM for $83 million to an affiliate of Meruelo Group. Emmis had owned the station for 32 years.

Emmis has been shedding assets to reduce its sizable load of debt.

"The decision to sell KPWR was an extremely difficult one to make, but it allows us to dramatically reduce our indebtedness, leading to much needed financial flexibility during challenging times for the U.S. radio business," Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said in written remarks.

On a full-year basis, Emmis reported $214.6 million in revenue, down from $231.4 million the previous year.

The company earned $13.1 million, or $1.09 per share, in the latest fiscal year, up from $1.9 million, or 18 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Emmis shares dipped 5 percent Thursday morning, to $3.23 each.

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