Emmis turns quarterly profit despite shrinking revenue

Emmis Communications Corp. on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter profit amid falling revenue.

Indianapolis-based Emmis said it earned $12.7 million, or $1.03 per share, in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, compared with a loss of $7.6 million, or 62 cents per share, in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Overall revenue in the quarter was $30.1 million, down from $43.5 million in the year-ago period. Radio revenue fell from $34 million to $28.4 million and publishing revenue dropped from $9.2 million to $1.4 million.

Revenue declines were expected because Emmis has sold off five radio stations and most of its publishing assets since the beginning of 2017.

The company sold Los Angeles radio station KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Group on Aug. 1, and it sold four Terre Haute radio stations in January 2017 for $5.2 million.

Emmis sold a package of four city magazines (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Orange Coast) for $6.5 million in February 2017, leaving it with Indianapolis Monthly as its only magazine.

The company has been using proceeds from the sales to lower debt.

On April 30, the company finalized the sale of four St. Louis radio stations and used proceeds to lower net credit facility debt to less than $20 million.

"In the last 12 months, we have paid down over $120 million of senior debt, leaving us on firm financial footing and providing flexibility as opportunities present themselves," Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan said in written remarks.

Emmis shares rose 1.4 percent Thursday, to $5.34 each.

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