Scripps Networks Scores High Q4 Advertising Results

Scripps Networks Interactive posted strong fourth-quarter U.S. advertising results -- higher than many other cable network groups.

Scripps gained 9% in the period to $523 million -- above the 6% estimates for the cable network group, which includes HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, and Travel Channel.

The company’s mid-day Tuesday stock price soared 6% to $80.19.

For the 2016 year, Scripps' total advertising revenue climbed 17.2% to $2.4 billion, with a 9.6% climb in the U.S. to $2.0 billion. Digital revenues also climbed by similar levels -- 9.4%. Total consolidated advertising revenues grew 7.5% to $641.5 million.

Todd Juenger, senior media analyst for Bernstein Research, says total average viewers in the period were flat during the period, with 18-49 viewer data down 2% from the fourth quarter 2016.



Scripps said in 2016 there were improved C3 ratings across all six networks. C3 ratings are the average commercial minute rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing.

Juenger estimates future domestic advertising revenue gains will slow down to 4% in the upcoming periods.

U.S. affiliate fees for the company dropped 3% to $193 million, while total distribution revenue sank 2% to 2.1% to $221 million.

Total company revenue was up 4% to $889 million. Net income was cut in half -- down 55%  -- to $92.3 million. The decline was due to an accounting adjustment, tax effects and write-down of an investment.

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