Stripping out political dollars, Nexstar Broadcasting posted a 7% gain in ad revenue in the second quarter to $66.2 million. Retransmission consent revenue leaped at a robust 78% rate to $15.3 million.
In July, Nexstar and the Mission group reached a deal to acquire stations in eight markets for $285.5 million, including the ABC affiliates in Salt Lake City and Memphis. After the deal closes, Nexstar will have some role in the operations of 67 stations.
Nexstar CEO Perry Sook stated Tuesday that the acquisition should bring “substantial free cash flow growth.”
In the quarter, Nexstar said auto dollars rose 16%, while all ad dollars -- including political -- brought a 13% increase.
Nexstar also touted growth of its online initiatives, with an 8% increase to $4.4 million.
Income nearly doubled to $23.5 million.
Nexstar is positioned to capitalize on political dollars in the back half of the year with stations in the swing states of Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania.
The company touted efforts to diversify beyond traditional ad sales with retrans dollars and e-media revenues.
Nexstar shares rose 8.5% Tuesday to close at $8.23, up from a 52-week low in the $5.50 range.