A. H. Belo Corporation Announces Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results from Continuing Operations

Jul. 27, 2015 6:06 pm

A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC) today reported results for the second quarter of 2015, which reflects total revenue of $66.7 million, a decrease from revenue of $69.3 million reported in the prior year quarter. This decline is primarily due to a decrease in core print advertising revenues.

Jim Moroney, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer, said, "While we experienced more accelerated declines in core print advertising than in recent quarters, particularly in national and major retail categories, we were encouraged that DallasNews.com digital advertising grew by 18.3% compared to the prior year quarter and our marketing services category more than doubled its revenue compared to the prior year quarter.

"Our combined digital advertising and marketing services revenues now comprise 25 percent of the Company's total advertising and marketing services revenue. By year end, we expect revenues from core print advertising to be less than one-third of the Company's total revenue.

"Although the Company anticipates continued challenges for core print revenues, we believe new and organic revenue opportunities and continued expense management will help mitigate expected declines in these areas."

Net loss from continuing operations was $0.03 per share in the second quarter of 2015, a decrease of $0.88 per share compared to the second quarter of 2014. This decrease is primarily due to the prior year gain of $18.5 million for the Company's share of sales proceeds for apartments.com through its previously held investment in Classified Ventures.

As of June 30, 2015, cash and cash equivalents were $84.1 million, and the Company had no debt.

Second Quarter Results from Continuing Operations

Total revenue was $66.7 million in the second quarter of 2015, a decrease of 3.7 percent compared to the prior year period.

Revenue from advertising and marketing services, including print and digital revenues, decreased 4.9 percent. Marketing services revenue more than doubled from the prior year period as a result of growth of Speakeasy and the acquisition of DMV. Revenue from Crowdsource, our event marketing business, also doubled from the same period last year. Increases in marketing services revenue were offset by declines in display, classified, and preprint advertising revenues which decreased 18.5 percent, 10.8 percent, and 7.9 percent, respectively.

Circulation revenue decreased 1.9 percent to $20.8 million due to declining volumes, substantially offset by higher rates.

Commercial printing, distribution and other revenue decreased 2.4 percent to $7.6 million in the second quarter of 2015 due primarily to lower volumes.

Total consolidated operating expense in the second quarter was $67.2 million, a 0.5 percent increase compared to the prior year period. Excluding costs associated with the acquisition of DMV, operating expenses were $65.2 million, a 2.5 percent decrease compared to the prior year period. Operating expenses included cost savings within core print operations for employee compensation and benefits and other production costs as these expenses are aligned with declining revenues. Excluding the compensation expenses associated with the acquisition of DMV, employee compensation and benefits declined 7.5 percent compared to the prior year period. Newsprint expense in the second quarter decreased $0.9 million, or 17.1 percent, compared to the prior year period as consumption dropped 8.5 percent to approximately 7,900 metric tons and average purchase price per metric ton decreased 13.3 percent. These savings were offset by higher costs related to the Company's platforms supporting digital advertising and its flagship website and event marketing operations.

As of June 30, 2015, A. H. Belo had approximately 1,200 full-time equivalent employees, a decrease of 20.0 percent compared to the prior year period, primarily due to the sale of The Providence Journal during the third quarter of 2014.

Financial Results Conference Call

A. H. Belo will conduct a conference call on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. CDT to discuss financial results. The conference call will be available via webcast by accessing the Company's website (www.ahbelo.com/invest). An archive of the webcast will be available at www.ahbelo.com in the Investor Relations section.

To access the listen-only conference call, dial 1-800-230-1059 (USA) or 612-338-9017 (International). A replay line will be available at 1-800-475-6701 (USA) or 320-365-3844 (International) from 3:00 p.m. CDT on July 28 until 11:59 p.m. CDT on August 4, 2015. The access code for the replay is 363886.

About A. H. Belo Corporation

A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: AHC) is a leading local news information publishing company with commercial printing, distribution and direct mail capabilities, as well as expertise in emerging media and marketing services. With a continued focus on extending the Company's media platform, A. H. Belo is able to deliver news and information in innovative ways to a broad spectrum of audiences with diverse interests and lifestyles. For additional information, visit ahbelo.com or email invest@ahbelo.com.

Statements in this communication concerning A. H. Belo Corporation’s (the “Company’s”) business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenue, expense, dividends, capital expenditures, investments, dispositions, impairments, business initiatives, acquisitions, pension plan contributions and obligations, real estate sales, working capital, future financings and other financial and non-financial items that are not historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” as the term is defined under applicable federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements.

Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to, changes in capital market conditions and prospects, and other factors such as changes in advertising demand and newsprint prices; newspaper circulation trends and other circulation matters, including changes in readership methods, patterns and demography; audits and related actions by the Alliance for Audited Media; challenges implementing increased subscription pricing and new pricing structures; challenges in achieving expense reduction goals in a timely manner and the resulting potential effects on operations; challenges attracting and retaining key personnel; challenges in consummating asset acquisitions or dispositions upon acceptable terms; technological changes; development of Internet commerce; industry cycles; changes in pricing or other actions by existing and new competitors and suppliers; consumer acceptance of new products and business initiatives; labor relations; regulatory, tax and legal changes; adoption of new accounting standards or changes in existing accounting standards by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other accounting standard-setting bodies or authorities; the effects of Company acquisitions, dispositions, co-owned ventures and investments; pension plan matters; general economic conditions and changes in interest rates; significant armed conflict; acts of terrorism; and other factors beyond our control, as well as other risks described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, and in the Company’s other public disclosures and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A. H. Belo Corporation
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations
Three Months Ended June 30, Six Months Ended June 30,
In thousands, except share and per share amounts (unaudited)   2015   2014 2015   2014
Net Operating Revenue
Advertising and marketing services $ 38,266 $ 40,251 $ 75,097 $ 77,977
Circulation 20,816 21,227 41,854 42,239
Printing, distribution and other   7,594     7,783     15,161     13,437  
Total net operating revenue 66,676 69,261 132,112 133,653
Operating Costs and Expense
Employee compensation and benefits 25,105 25,722 52,608 53,886
Other production, distribution and operating costs 31,015 29,640 62,475 58,084
Newsprint, ink and other supplies 7,843 8,114 16,009 16,102
Depreciation 2,875 3,348 5,915 6,758
Amortization   373     30     746     60  
Total operating costs and expense   67,211     66,854     137,753     134,890  
Operating income (loss) (535 ) 2,407 (5,641 ) (1,237 )
Other Income (Expense), Net
Gains on equity method investments, net 690 18,567 276 18,159
Other income (loss), net   (532 )   141     (423 )   258  
Total other income (expense), net   158     18,708     (147 )   18,417  
Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations Before Income Taxes (377 ) 21,115 (5,788 ) 17,180
Income tax provision (benefit)   317     1,428     (5,413 )   2,319  
Income (Loss) from Continuing Operations   (694 )   19,687     (375 )   14,861  
Income from discontinued operations 2,146 3,123
Income (Loss) related to the divestiture of discontinued operations, net 2 153 (10 ) (25 )
Tax expense from discontinued operations       30         46  
Gain (Loss) from Discontinued Operations, Net   2     2,269     (10 )   3,052  
Net Income (Loss) (692 ) 21,956 (385 ) 17,913
Net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests   (100 )   (24 )   (156 )   (30 )
Net Income (Loss) Attributable to A. H. Belo Corporation $ (592 ) $ 21,980   $ (229 ) $ 17,943  
Per Share Basis
Continuing operations $ (0.03 ) $ 0.86 $ (0.01 ) $ 0.64
Discontinued operations       0.10         0.14  
Net income (loss) attributable to A. H. Belo Corporation $ (0.03 ) $ 0.96   $ (0.01 ) $ 0.78  
Continuing operations $ (0.03 ) $ 0.85 $ (0.01 ) $ 0.64
Discontinued operations       0.10         0.14  
Net income (loss) attributable to A. H. Belo Corporation $ (0.03 ) $ 0.95   $ (0.01 ) $ 0.78  
Weighted average shares outstanding
Basic 21,747,635 22,014,125 21,758,382 21,946,256
Diluted 21,747,635 22,121,695 21,758,382 22,064,339
A. H. Belo Corporation
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
June 30, December 31,
In thousands (unaudited)   2015 2014
Current assets:
Cash and cash equivalents $ 84,061 $ 158,171
Accounts receivable, net 32,249 34,396
Other current assets 14,980 13,323
Assets of discontinued operations   253   565
Total current assets 131,543 206,455
Property, plant and equipment, net 52,034 61,589
Intangible assets, net 45,985 25,238
Other assets   5,538   5,465
Total assets $ 235,100 $ 298,747
Liabilities and Shareholders’ Equity
Current liabilities:
Accounts payable $ 13,769 $ 12,904
Accrued expenses and other current liabilities 12,369 72,065
Advance subscription payments 15,429 15,894
Liabilities of discontinued operations   85   543
Total current liabilities 41,652 101,406
Long-term pension liabilities 62,923 65,859
Other liabilities 5,322 5,463
Noncontrolling interests - redeemable 1,263
Total shareholders’ equity   123,940   126,019
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity $ 235,100 $ 298,747

A. H. Belo Corporation
Katy Murray, 214-977-8869
Senior Vice President / Chief Financial Officer

Business Wire
July 27, 2015 - 6:06 PM EDT

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