Infinity B’casting profit hits record $ 9 mil in qtr.

Howard Stern isn’t the only thing over the top at Infinity Broadcasting Corp. The radiocaster’s fourth-quarter profit hit a record $ 9.1 million, or 20 cents per share, a gain of 270% and 186%, respectively, from the same 1992 period.

Analysts had forecast earnings per share of about 15 cents, but even so, Infinity shares dropped 75 cents Tuesday to $ 31.75.

“In general, the ad climate is very robust and Infinity has been able to outperform,” said Alex. Brown analyst Drew Marcus.

Despite that strong growth, uncertainty over the potential negative impact of regulatory opposition to Infinity’s expansion plans has kept some investors on the sidelines.

FCC go-ahead

On Monday, however, the Federal Communications Commission approved Infinity’s proposed acquisition of L.A.’s KRTH-FM — but added $ 400,000 in fines to the $ 1.2 million that Infinity is already fighting in court (Daily Variety, Jan. 31).

The radiocaster has said an FCC-imposed delay on the KRTH acquisition might have cost it an extra $ 1 million — a figure Marcus estimated is closer to $ 3 million.

Net revenue for the fourth quarter jumped 36% to a record $ 61.17 million, thanks to higher ad revenue and the acquisition of four stations last year. Broadcast cash flow rose 43% to $ 29.04 million.

For the 1993 fiscal year, Infinity earned $ 14.34 million, or 35 cents per share, compared with the prior year’s loss of $ 9.43 million, or 30 cents per share, before extraordinary charges. Annual net revenue increased 36% to $ 204. 52 million, and broadcast cash flow gained 39% to $ 94.92 million. Shares outstanding jumped by more than 10 million to 41.37 million.

Infinity’s depreciation and amortization expenses rose $ 9.93 million to $ 38 .85 million as a result of the acquisition of WIP-AM (Philadelphia), WZLX-FM (Boston), WZGC-FM (Atlanta) and WUSN-FM (Chicago).

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