Q1 2010 Earnings Roundup: Hispanic and Latin American Media Companies

A good amount of publicly quoted companies with a strong presence in the Hispanic and Latin American media and advertising sectors, have already released their first quarter 2010 results. Here is a summary.

Mexican media company Grupo Televisa (NYSE: TV)  said on Thursday its net profit rose 8 percent in the first quarter, below expectations, as combined sales from its pay television units outpaced those of broadcast TV. said it earned 1.06 billion pesos ($85.5 million) in the January-March first quarter, according to a stock market filing. Quarterly revenue rose 7 percent to 12.15 billion pesos, boosted by double digit growth at its cable and telecommunications unit, and a 9.5 percent rise in sales of its SKY direct-to-home unit. Televisa's Cablemas subsidiary, which it bought a few years ago, ended with 1.4 million paying customers of video, broadband or phone services while Cablevision which mostly operates in the Mexico City area, closed the quarter with 1.05 million clients. Its other cable subsidiary, TVI, ended the quarter with just under half a million customers. Satellite television unit SKY, which has 2.2 million customers, reaped benefits from its new low-cost offer in Mexico, a response to rival Dish Mexico, which debuted in 2008 but has grown at a very fast pace. Broadcast television sales rose 3.4 percent from a year ago, helped by strong ratings from two soap operas and better advertising sales, the company said.

Mexican Broadcaster Televisión Azteca (Other OTC: AZTEF.PK) net sales were Ps.2,221 million ($189.8 million) 11% above the Ps.1,995 million ($169.5 million) of the same quarter of 2009. Total costs and expenses were Ps.1,460 million ($124.7 million), compared to Ps.1,389 million ($118 million) in the same period of the previous year. As a result, TV Azteca reported EBITDA of Ps.761 million ($64.7 million), 26% above the Ps.606 million ($51.5 million) in the first quarter of 2009. The EBITDA margin was 34%, four percentage points above the 30% margin of a year ago.

Hispanic Radio Broadcaster Entravision (NYSE EVC) net revenues increased by 3% to $43 million dollars during the first quarter of 2010. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA increased to $9.5 million, a 42% increase versus last years results.

The Associated Press announced that its net income plunged as revenue fell nearly 10 percent last year. The news cooperative also expects a decline in revenue this year, which would be its first back-to-back drop since the Great Depression. The AP released its 2009 financial results at the not-for-profit organization's annual meeting in New York. AP executives used the forum to explain some of the ways they hope to boost revenue for the organization and its members, such as with news applications for the iPad.

In the first quarter, Yahoo (Nasdaq YHOO) said net income rose to $310 million or 22 cents a share, from $118 million, or 8 cents a share, in the same period last year. Net revenue for the period ended in March came in at $1.13 billion, Yahoo said. Online display advertising on Yahoo's network of sites rose 20% from the comparable period a year earlier, the company said. Analysts had generally been looking for display-advertising growth of between 11% and 12%. Yahoo said its earnings were boosted 7 cents a share by its sale of email service Zimbra, and its partnership with Microsoft.

Meredith Corp (NYSE:MDP)., a women's media and marketing company, which has a significant presence in the Hispanic market through its Meredith Hispanic Ventures.  said Wednesday its third-quarter net profit grew 31 percent, beating expectations with growing advertising revenue. Net profit in the three months to March 31 rose to $33.3 million, or 73 cents per share, from $25.4 million, or 56 cents per share in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 5 percent to $353.3 million. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Lacy urged caution in a release.” While our advertising growth was encouraging, we are still well below historic levels established prior to the recession in both our national and local businesses," he said, adding the ad marketplace remains "volatile." The company said it expects advertising revenue to increase 7 percent to 8 percent over the previous year in its fourth quarter through June.

Gannett Co. (NYSE: GCI), which publishes Spanish-language community newspapers in some markets said net income jumped 51 percent during the first quarter compared with a year earlier. Nation's largest newspaper publisher reported the smallest drop in ad revenue in more than a year: 8 percent.

Media General Inc. (NYSE: MEG), whose newspapers include the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch and The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, and their Spanish-language sister newspapers, n says first-quarter loss narrowed. Total publishing revenue, which includes circulation, dropped 9 percent in first quarter, compared with 14 percent in previous quarter.

McClatchy Co., (NYSE:MNI) which publishes The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee and other newspapers, said ad revenue fell 11.2 percent during the first quarter. That's better than the 20.5 percent decline in the last three months of 2009. McClatchy published El Nuevo Herald (Miami), La Estrella en Casa (Dallas-Ft. Worth) and Vida en el Valle (Sacramento, Fresno, CA).


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