Tegna Grabs Higher Political/Retrans Revs, Stock Climbs

TV station group Tegna registered benefits similar to what other station groups received in the fourth quarter -- higher political advertising and retransmission revenues.

Political advertising grew ninefold to $90.8 million versus $10.5 million, while retransmission fees rose 21.3% to $145 million. All this helped lift revenues 14.5% higher during the period to $529.1 million.

At the same time, Tegna's core advertising -- national and local -- sank 14.3% to $254 million, due to pre-emptions of political advertising.

Digital revenues grew 7.1% to $33.3 million, which included a $7.4 million hike in revenue at Cars.com. Its CareerBuilder digital business was up 5.9%.

Net income from continuing operations was down 14.6% to $133 million, higher than forecast. Mid-day morning Tegna stock price was up 5% to $26.01.

Looking ahead, the company expects its TV/media first-quarter 2017 business to be flat to slightly above the first quarter of 2016, due to unfavorable comparisons to the higher political advertising revenue a year ago.

For the year, Tegna revenues grew 9.5% to $3.34 billion -- a 14.9% hike for its TV/media business to $1.93 billion and a 2.8% improvement for its digital businesses to $1.41 billion.



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