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MSG Networks Inc. Reports Fiscal 2019 Third Quarter Results

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Fiscal 2019 third quarter revenues of $195.1 million
Fiscal 2019 third quarter operating income of $82.5 million
Fiscal 2019 third quarter adjusted operating income of $88.7 million

NEW YORK, May 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MSG Networks Inc. (NYSE:MSGN) today reported financial results for the fiscal third quarter ended March 31, 2019.

For the fiscal 2019 third quarter, MSG Networks Inc. generated revenues of $195.1 million, an increase of 5% as compared with the prior year period.  In addition, the Company generated operating income of $82.5 million, adjusted operating income of $88.7 million and net income of $54.2 million.(1)

President and CEO Andrea Greenberg said, "We had another quarter of solid financial results, which included a robust year-over-year increase in advertising revenue as our exclusive live sports content attracted new advertising partners and helped drive incremental revenue opportunities.  Looking ahead, we remain confident that we are well-positioned to generate long-term value for our shareholders."

Fiscal Year 2019 Third Quarter Results    
(In thousands, except per share data)

 
  Three Months Ended
    March 31,
    2019
Revenues   $ 195,105  
Operating income   82,481  
Adjusted operating income   $ 88,657  
Net Income   54,235  
Diluted EPS   $ 0.72  

(1)       See page 3 of this earnings release for the definition of adjusted operating income included in the discussion of non-GAAP financial measures.

Summary of Reported Results from Operations
Fiscal 2019 third quarter total revenues of $195.1 million increased 5%, or $8.5 million, as compared with the prior year period.  Affiliation fee revenue increased $3.2 million, primarily due to higher affiliation rates, partially offset by the impact of a decrease in subscribers of less than 4% as compared with the prior year period.  Advertising revenue increased $6.1 million, primarily due to a lower net increase in deferred revenue related to ratings guarantees, higher per-game sales from the telecast of live professional sports programming and increased sales from the Company's branded content initiatives, partially offset by the impact of fewer live professional sports telecasts as compared with the prior year period.  Other revenues decreased $0.7 million as compared with the prior year period.

Direct operating expenses of $82.1 million increased 2%, or $1.8 million, as compared with the prior year period.  The increase was primarily due to higher rights fees expense, mainly a result of annual contractual rate increases. This was partially offset by a decrease in other programming-related costs.

Selling, general and administrative expenses of $28.7 million increased 23%, or $5.4 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to higher employee compensation and related benefits (including share-based compensation expense) and advertising and marketing costs, as well as a higher provision for doubtful accounts.

Operating income of $82.5 million increased 2%, or $1.9 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to the increase in revenues, partially offset by higher selling, general and administrative expenses (including share-based compensation expense) and, to a lesser extent, higher direct operating expenses.

Adjusted operating income of $88.7 million increased 3%, or $2.9 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to the increase in revenues, partially offset by higher selling, general and administrative expenses (excluding share-based compensation expense) and, to a lesser extent, higher direct operating expenses.

About MSG Networks Inc.
MSG Networks Inc., a pioneer in sports media, owns and operates two award-winning regional sports and entertainment networks and a companion streaming service that serve the nation's number one media market, the New York DMA, as well as other portions of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The networks feature a wide range of compelling sports content, including exclusive live local games and other programming of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres, as well as significant coverage of the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills.  This content, in addition to a diverse array of other sporting events and critically acclaimed original programming, has established MSG Networks as the gold standard in regional sports, with more than 150 New York Emmy Awards over the past 10 years.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We define adjusted operating income, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, as operating income before 1) depreciation, amortization and impairments of property and equipment and intangible assets, 2) share-based compensation expense or benefit, 3) restructuring charges or credits and 4) gains or losses on sales or dispositions of businesses.  Because it is based upon operating income, adjusted operating income also excludes interest expense (including cash interest expense) and other non-operating income and expense items. We believe that the exclusion of share-based compensation expense or benefit allows investors to better track the performance of the Company without regard to the settlement of an obligation that is not expected to be made in cash.

We believe adjusted operating income is an appropriate measure for evaluating the operating performance of our Company.  Adjusted operating income and similar measures with similar titles are common performance measures used by investors and analysts to analyze our performance. Internally, we use revenues and adjusted operating income measures as the most important indicators of our business performance, and evaluate management's effectiveness with specific reference to these indicators.  Adjusted operating income should be viewed as a supplement to and not a substitute for operating income, net income, cash flows from operating activities, and other measures of performance and/or liquidity presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). Since adjusted operating income is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with GAAP, this measure may not be comparable to similar measures with similar titles used by other companies. For a reconciliation of operating income to adjusted operating income, please see page 6 of this release.

The Company defines Free Cash Flow ("Free Cash Flow"), which is a non-GAAP financial measure, as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures, both of which are reported in our Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows.  The Company believes the most comparable GAAP financial measure is net cash provided by operating activities. The Company believes that Free Cash Flow is useful as an indicator of its overall ability to generate liquidity, as the amount of Free Cash Flow generated in any period is representative of cash that is generated for debt repayment, investment, and other discretionary and non-discretionary cash uses. The Company also believes that Free Cash Flow is one of several benchmarks used by analysts and investors for comparison of the Company's generation of liquidity with other companies in the industry, although the Company's measure of Free Cash Flow may not be directly comparable to similar measures reported by other companies.  For a reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to net cash provided by operating activities, please see page 8 of this release.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results, developments and events may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including financial community perceptions of the Company and its business, operations, financial condition and the industry in which it operates and the factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the sections titled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" contained therein. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein.

Contacts:  
   
Kimberly Kerns
Communications
(212) 465-6442
Ari Danes, CFA
Investor Relations
(212) 465-6072

Conference Call Information:
The conference call will be Webcast live today at 10:00 a.m. ET at www.msgnetworks.com
Conference call dial-in number is 877-883-0832 / Conference ID Number 8555508
Conference call replay number is 855-859-2056 / Conference ID Number 8555508 until May 9, 2019


CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)

    Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
    March 31,   March 31,
    2019   2018   2019   2018
Revenues   $ 195,105     $ 186,568     $ 552,483     $ 525,246  
Direct operating expenses   82,085     80,322     230,210     222,315  
Selling, general and administrative expenses   28,734     23,383     76,931     63,255  
Depreciation and amortization   1,805     2,279     5,650     7,153  
Operating income   82,481     80,584     239,692     232,523  
Other income (expense):                
Interest income   1,557     1,195     4,571     3,072  
Interest expense   (11,658 )   (10,932 )   (35,273 )   (31,817 )
Other components of net periodic benefit cost   (413 )   (407 )   (1,231 )   (1,221 )
    (10,514 )   (10,144 )   (31,933 )   (29,966 )
Income from operations before income taxes   71,967     70,440     207,759     202,557  
Income tax benefit (expense)   (17,732 )   (23,505 )   (62,756 )   41,103  
Net income   $ 54,235     $ 46,935     $ 145,003     $ 243,660  
Earnings per share:                
Basic                
Net income   $ 0.72     $ 0.62     $ 1.93     $ 3.23  
Diluted                
Net income   $ 0.72     $ 0.62     $ 1.92     $ 3.21  
Weighted-average number of common shares outstanding:                
Basic   75,152     75,540     75,041     75,427  
Diluted   75,739     76,017     75,712     75,844  


ADJUSTMENTS TO RECONCILE OPERATING INCOME
TO ADJUSTED OPERATING INCOME
(In thousands)

The following is a description of the adjustments to operating income in arriving at adjusted operating income as described in this earnings release:

  • Share-based compensation expense. This adjustment eliminates the compensation expense relating to restricted stock units and stock options granted under our employee stock plan and non-employee director stock plan in all periods.

  • Depreciation and amortization.  This adjustment eliminates depreciation, amortization and impairments of property and equipment and intangible assets in all periods.
    Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
    March 31,   March 31,
    2019   2018   2019   2018
Operating income   $ 82,481     $ 80,584     $ 239,692     $ 232,523  
Share-based compensation expense   4,371     2,862     13,658     10,581  
Depreciation and amortization   1,805     2,279     5,650     7,153  
Adjusted operating income   $ 88,657     $ 85,725     $ 259,000     $ 250,257  



CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except per share data)

    March 31,
2019
  June 30,
2018
    (unaudited)    
ASSETS        
Current Assets:        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 182,261     $ 205,343  
Accounts receivable, net   110,619     110,657  
Related party receivables, net   30,880     12,100  
Prepaid income taxes   2,411     1,134  
Prepaid expenses   4,574     4,489  
Other current assets   6,157     4,719  
Total current assets   336,902     338,442  
Property and equipment, net   8,653     10,029  
Amortizable intangible assets, net   34,608     37,203  
Goodwill   424,508     424,508  
Other assets   39,978     39,430  
Total assets   $ 844,649     $ 849,612  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' DEFICIENCY        
Current Liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 427     $ 1,460  
Related party payables   1,130     785  
Current portion of long-term debt   98,664     72,414  
Income taxes payable   5,593     8,460  
Accrued liabilities:        
Employee related costs   13,214     15,342  
Other accrued liabilities   10,209     8,129  
Deferred revenue   2,196     4,626  
Total current liabilities   131,433     111,216  
Long-term debt, net of current portion   937,457     1,118,017  
Defined benefit and other postretirement obligations   26,026     28,170  
Other employee related costs   4,602     4,560  
Other liabilities   3,928     3,974  
Deferred tax liability   244,544     241,417  
Total liabilities   1,347,990     1,507,354  
Commitments and contingencies        
Stockholders' Deficiency:        
Class A Common stock, par value $0.01, 360,000 shares authorized; 61,287 and 61,017 shares outstanding as of
March 31, 2019 and June 30, 2018, respectively
  643     643  
Class B Common stock, par value $0.01, 90,000 shares authorized; 13,589 shares outstanding as of March 31, 2019 and June 30, 2018   136     136  
Preferred stock, par value $0.01, 45,000 shares authorized; none outstanding        
Additional paid-in capital   5,487     4,067  
Treasury stock, at cost 2,972 and 3,242 shares as of March 31, 2019 and June 30, 2018, respectively   (179,561 )   (195,881 )
Accumulated deficit   (323,593 )   (460,007 )
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (6,453 )   (6,700 )
Total stockholders' deficiency   (503,341 )   (657,742 )
Total liabilities and stockholders' deficiency   $ 844,649     $ 849,612  


SUPPLEMENTAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)

 Summary Data from the Statements of Cash Flows

    Nine Months Ended
    March 31,
    2019   2018
Net cash provided by operating activities   $ 142,080     $ 164,851  
Net cash used in investing activities   (3,912 )   (1,470 )
Net cash used in financing activities   (161,250 )   (109,894 )
Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents   (23,082 )   53,487  
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   205,343     141,087  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period   $ 182,261     $ 194,574  

 Free Cash Flow

    Nine Months Ended
    March 31,
    2019   2018
Net cash provided by operating activities   $ 142,080     $ 164,851  
Less: Capital expenditures   (1,912 )   (1,470 )
Free cash flow   $ 140,168     $ 163,381  
         

 Capitalization

    March 31,
    2019
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 182,261  
Credit facility debt(a)   1,040,000  
Net debt   $ 857,739  
     
Reconciliation of operating income to AOI for trailing twelve-month period(b)    
Operating Income   $ 320,327  
Share-based compensation expense   17,056  
Depreciation and amortization   7,835  
Adjusted operating income   $ 345,218  
     
Leverage ratio(c)   2.5x
     
(a) Represents aggregate principal amount of the debt outstanding.
(b) Represents reported adjusted operating income for the trailing twelve months.
(c) Represents net debt divided by annualized adjusted operating income, which differs from the covenant calculation contained in the Company's credit facility.

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