Days after announcing its deal to acquire 21 regional sports TV networks, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that first-quarter revenues grew nearly 9% -- mostly from higher distribution fees for its TV stations.
Revenue was $722.1 million for the first-quarter period, with net income cut in half to $22.8 million versus $44 million.
Wednesday morning trading of Sinclair’s stock was up 5% to $63.77. On Monday -- after Friday’s news of the sports deal -- Sinclair’s stock price soared, closing 35% higher.
Sinclair’s first-quarter media expenses grew from $435.4 million to $479 million. Zack Silver, media analyst at B.Riley FBR, says the company is guiding higher second-quarter expenses -- $506 million to $508 million -- higher than projected.
Distribution revenues were $352 million, against the first quarter’s $314 million.
Sinclair also had some declining revenue comparisons: The 2019 Super Bowl revenues were at $5 million versus $7 million in Super Bowl and Olympic revenues in the first quarter of 2018. Political revenues were $2 million versus $7 million.
On Friday, Sinclair agreed to acquire acquire 21 regional sports networks for $9.6 billion -- representing a $10.6 billion enterprise value -- from the Walt Disney Company.
For the second quarter, Sinclair projects media revenues rising 4% to $721 million. Those revenue were $673 million in the first quarter.