Cash flow up to $26.9 mil, but net income drops 87%

Radio and television broadcaster Emmis Communications said Thursday that first-quarter revenues rose 62% to $72.4 million, as cash flow (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) advanced 60% to $26.9 million.

Net income fell 87% to $241,000 in the quarter ended May 31, reflecting, in part, a three-fold increase in depreciation generated by the company’s purchase of six TV stations last year.

The results beat analysts’ expectations by a wide margin and sent Emmis stock up 12ยข a share to close at $46.62.

‘Remarkable result’

Jeff Smulyan, chairman and CEO of the Indianapolis-based media conglom, called the 7% gain posted by the TV properties “a remarkable result considering they are new to the Emmis family.”

On a same-station basis, net revenue in the quarter increased 12%, while broadcast/publishing cash flow advanced 23%.

Earlier this month, Emmis agreed to buy the WB affiliate in Orlando, Fla. The deal, slated to close in the third quarter, will bring the company’s number of TV stations to seven.

In addition, the company owns 16 radio stations and publishes such magazines as Indianapolis Monthly, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Texas Monthly, Texas Monthly Biz and Country Sampler.

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