Profit at Univision Climbs 62%
Univision Communications Inc., the largest U.S. Spanish-language television broadcaster, said on Thursday that fourth-quarter profit rose 62% as an increase in viewers helped boost advertising sales.
Net income climbed to $58.9 million, or 17 cents a share, from $36.4 million, or 14 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose 44% to $408.1 million, helped by the Los Angeles-based company’s newly acquired radio business.
Chief Executive Jerrold Perenchio is building an audience as he competes with English-language networks for ad dollars. Prime-time viewers of Univision’s broadcast TV networks rose 10%. Spanish-language radio and TV attract fewer than half the top 300 U.S. advertisers, Guzman & Co. analyst David Joyce said.
“It highlights that Spanish-language broadcasting is the growth sector in broadcasting,” Joyce said. He rates Univision’s shares “outperform” and said he didn’t own them.
Univision said it expected earnings this quarter to rise to as much as 9 cents a share from 5 cents a year earlier.
The latest quarter includes results from Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., the largest U.S. Spanish-language radio broadcaster, which Univision bought in September for $3.2 billion. Radio revenue, nonexistent a year earlier, was $76.2 million in the recent quarter, accounting for almost a fifth of Univision’s total sales.
Sales from Univision’s three television networks increased 12% to $295 million.
Shares of Univision fell 29 cents to $36.34 on the New York Stock Exchange. They have gained 51% over the last 12 months.
The company was expected to report fourth-quarter net income of $55.8 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $406.4 million, the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.