×

iHeartMedia Stock Drops in NASDAQ Debut

Shares of iHeartMedia, the U.S.’s biggest radio network, fell as much as 7% after they commenced trading Thursday on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and ended the day down around 3%.

Last month, after exiting a year-long bankruptcy reorg, iHeartMedia announced it was approved for listing on NASDAQ, instead of pursuing an IPO. The company’s shares had previously been traded over-the-counter under the symbol “IHTM,” for $17 per share.

On Thursday, iHeartMedia shares began trading under the ticker symbol “IHRT.” The price fell as low as $15.75 in early trading, down 7.4%, but gained back some of those losses throughout the day and landed at $16.50 per share (-2.94%) at market’s close.

The company had filed an S-1 earlier this year as prelude to a potential traditional initial public offering, but opted to convert its OTC shares to a listing on the NASDAQ exchange. iHeartMedia’s move to NASDAQ is different from direct listings — which is how Spotify became a publicly traded entity last year — because iHeartMedia’s shares were already previously available to investors.

Formerly known as Clear Channel, iHeartMedia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2018 after amassing the more than $20 billion in debt following a leveraged buyout a decade earlier.

In January, a U.S. court approved iHeartMedia’s bankruptcy plan, which cut its debt from $16.1 billion to $5.75 billion. The plan calls for iHeartMedia and billboard operator Clear Channel Outdoor to be separated, creating two independent public companies. Also in January, the company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, extended their contracts by four years.

iHeartMedia owns 848 live broadcast radio stations and operates the iHeartRadio digital service across more than 250 platforms. It’s the second-biggest podcast publisher (after NPR), according to research firm Podtrac, and also stages branded live music events including the iHeartRadio Music Festival and iHeartRadio Music Awards.

According to its regulatory filings, for full-year 2018 iHeartMedia generated $3.6 billion in revenue — essentially flat from the year prior — and posted a net loss of $38 million on a pro-forma basis (backing out Clear Channel Outdoor). Its $976 million of adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), represents a 27% margin. That, iHeartMedia claimed, is the highest adjusted EBITDA margin of any major advertising-supported audio media company.

More Digital

  • STRANGER THINGS

    'Stranger Things 3' Is Most-Watched Season to Date, Netflix Says

    The Upside Down delivered upside for Netflix in the third quarter: “Stranger Things” season 3 was the most-watched season of the series to date, according to the streamer. In the first four weeks of release, “Stranger Things” season 3 was watched by 64 million member households, Netflix said in the Q3 letter to shareholders. The [...]

  • Stranger Things Season 3

    Netflix Undershoots U.S. Subscriber Adds for Q3, Beats Profit Forecast

    Netflix fell slightly short of its U.S. subscriber forecast in the third quarter — and projected lower Q4 subscriber growth than Wall Street was expecting as competition looms from Apple and Disney. Still, the company reported solid gains, announcing a Q3 record for paid subscriber additions and revenue, and handily topped analyst forecasts for profit. [...]

  • Despacito Luis Fonsi Daddy Yankee

    'Despacito' Tops Vevo's Most-Watched Videos of the Past Decade Chart

    In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Vevo today announced its Top 10 lists of the decade’s most-watched music videos. Not surprisingly, the Most-Watched Music Video accolade goes to Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” (featuring Daddy Yankee), with 6.4 billion views since its release in early 2017. The second most-viewed video is Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” (featuring Bruno [...]

  • Dead To Me

    Streaming Shows Nearly Doubled in Last Year, Boosting Los Angeles TV Production

    Television production in Los Angeles has received a major boost from streaming shows, according to a new report from the permitting organization FilmLA. The number of new digital projects nearly doubled between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 development cycles, increasing approximately 85.3% in a year. The number of digitally distributed original series in production has increased by [...]

  • Shonda Rhimes

    Shonda Rhimes Inks Podcast Deal With iHeartMedia

    Hit-making TV writer and producer Shonda Rhimes is jumping into the podcast game in a much bigger way. Rhimes’ Shondaland production company announced a three-year pact with iHeartMedia to launch Shondaland Audio, which will produce a slate of original podcasts to be released as part of the iHeartPodcast Network. Rhimes will oversee development and Sandie [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content