Accounting for its Media General acquisition completed earlier this year, Nexstar Media Group’s financial results soared in the third quarter, in line with or slightly higher than analysts' estimates.
Nexstar’s overall revenues more than doubled -- up 122% to $611.9 million from $275.6 million the previous year. Net income rose to $42 million from $25.6 million.
The company’s early Monday morning stock was down over 2% before recovering, off 0.7% to $62.60.
Nexstar’s retransmission fees continue to climb -- $257.5 million versus $98.3 million a year ago. National and local TV advertising was $313.6 million against $131.4 million the year before.
Digital advertising for the bigger TV station group is now $56.2 million versus $28.6 million.
Barton Crockett, media analyst at FBR & Co., says Nexstar’s revenues were $5 million above his estimate, and $2 million above a consensus of analysts. Total core advertising of $314 million was $18 million above projections -- with political and retransmission revenues in line with his estimates.
“We launched coverage of Nexstar with a buy rating on Oct. 30, arguing the appealing exposure of this sector to rising retransmission and durable local news (where Netflix does not compete) was under-appreciated.”
Nexstar Media Group now has 171 stations, reaching nearly 39% of U.S. TV homes.