E.W. Scripps swings to a profit, revenue rises above expectations amid record political ad sales

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Shares of E.W. Scripps Co. rallied 3.6% in premarket trading Friday, after the TV broadcaster swung to a net profit and reported revenue that rose above expectations, boosted by record political advertising revenue. Net income was $58.5 million, or 69 cents a share, after a loss of $21.9 million, or 27 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding discontinued operations, the company swung to earnings per share of 76 cents from a per-share loss of 22 cents. The FactSet EPS consensus was 70 cents. Revenue increased 49.1% to $493.3 million, including total political revenue of $98.3 million, to beat the FactSet consensus of $470.9 million, as local media revenue grew 60% to $404 million to beat expectations of $393.2 million. Year to date, local media political advertising revenue was $265 million through Election Day, well above the company’s original expectations of $!96 million. “Despite the lingering economic disruption, Scripps achieved record political advertising revenue, nearly 40% retransmission revenue growth, a rebound in core advertising, double-digit National Media revenue growth and a return to National division margin expansion,” said Chief Executive Adam Symson. The stock has dropped 34.3% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.7%.
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