May 3, 2018

MSG Networks Inc. Reports Fiscal 2018 Third Quarter Results

Fiscal 2018 third quarter revenues of $186.6 million
Fiscal 2018 third quarter operating income of $80.6 million
Fiscal 2018 third quarter adjusted operating income of $85.7 million

NEW YORK, May 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MSG Networks Inc. (NYSE:MSGN) today reported financial results for the fiscal third quarter ended March 31, 2018. 

For the fiscal 2018 third quarter, MSG Networks Inc. generated revenues of $186.6 million, an increase of 2% as compared with the prior year period.  In addition, the Company generated operating income of $80.6 million, adjusted operating income of $85.7 million and income from continuing operations of $46.9 million.(1)(2)

President and CEO Andrea Greenberg said, "Our third quarter financial results were highlighted by the continued growth of our affiliate revenue base, as we remain on track for another year of solid revenue, adjusted operating income and free cash flow generation.  This has been a year of meaningful progress for our Company as we successfully increased distribution on digital platforms and expanded our programming in an effort to broaden our viewership.  Looking ahead, we remain confident that we are well positioned to generate ongoing value for our shareholders."

Fiscal Year 2018 Third Quarter Results      
(In thousands, except per share data)
  Three Months Ended  
    March 31,  
    2018  
Revenues   $ 186,568    
Operating income   80,584    
Adjusted operating income   85,725    
Income from continuing operations   46,935    
Diluted EPS from continuing operations                                                  $ 0.62    
       
       
  1. See page 3 of this earnings release for the definition of adjusted operating income included in the discussion of non-GAAP financial measures.
  2. In the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, the Company adopted ASU No. 2017-07.  The adoption of this standard resulted in the non-service cost components of net periodic benefit cost to be presented separately in the income statement from the service cost component and the non-service cost components to no longer be included in the subtotal for operating income.  As this standard was applied retrospectively, the Company reclassified $0.4 million and $1.2 million of net periodic benefit cost from selling, general and administrative expenses and direct operating expenses to a separate line item within other income (expense) in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2017.  Furthermore, all prior period amounts presented throughout this release reflect reclassifications made as a result of the adoption of ASU No. 2017-07.

Summary of Reported Results from Continuing Operations
Fiscal 2018 third quarter total revenues of $186.6 million increased 2%, or $3.3 million, as compared with the prior year period.  Affiliation fee revenue increased $4.9 million, primarily due to higher affiliation rates, partially offset by the impact of a low single-digit percentage decrease in subscribers versus the prior year period.  Advertising revenue decreased $2.2 million, primarily due to a higher net increase in deferred revenue related to ratings guarantees, partially offset by other net advertising increases.  Other revenues increased $0.7 million as compared with the prior year period.    

Direct operating expenses of $80.3 million increased 6%, or $4.8 million, as compared with the prior year period.  The increase was primarily due to higher rights fees expense and, to a lesser extent, higher other programming-related cost increases.  The increase in rights fees expense primarily reflects a step-up in expense related to the renewal of a rights agreement with the Buffalo Sabres, annual contractual rate increases and additional league fees related to streaming rights, partially offset by a shift in the timing of the recognition of certain other rights fees expense.

Selling, general and administrative expenses of $23.4 million increased 8%, or $1.7 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to higher advertising and marketing costs and, to a lesser extent, other net increases.

Operating income of $80.6 million decreased 3%, or $2.9 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to the increase in direct operating expenses and, to a lesser extent, higher selling, general and administrative expenses (including share-based compensation expense), partially offset by the increase in revenues and, to a lesser extent, lower depreciation and amortization. 

Adjusted operating income of $85.7 million decreased 3%, or $2.7 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to the increase in direct operating expenses and, to a lesser extent, higher selling, general and administrative expenses (excluding share-based compensation expense), partially offset by the increase in revenues.

About MSG Networks Inc.
An industry leader in sports production, and content development and distribution, MSG Networks Inc. owns and operates two award-winning regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network (MSG) and MSG+, and a live streaming and video on demand platform, MSG GO. The networks are home to 10 professional sports teams, delivering live games of the New York Knicks; New York Rangers; New York Islanders; New Jersey Devils; Buffalo Sabres; New York Liberty; New York Red Bulls and the Westchester Knicks, as well as coverage of the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills.  Each year, MSG and MSG+ collectively telecast approximately 500 live professional games, along with a comprehensive lineup of other sporting events, including college football and basketball, and critically-acclaimed original programming.  The gold standard for regional broadcasting, MSG Networks has won 152 New York Emmy Awards over the past ten years.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We define adjusted operating income, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, as operating income before 1) depreciation, amortization and impairments of property and equipment and intangible assets, 2) share-based compensation expense or benefit, 3) restructuring charges or credits and 4) gains or losses on sales or dispositions of businesses.  Because it is based upon operating income, adjusted operating income also excludes interest expense (including cash interest expense) and other non-operating income and expense items. We believe that the exclusion of share-based compensation expense or benefit allows investors to better track the performance of the Company without regard to the settlement of an obligation that is not expected to be made in cash.

We believe adjusted operating income is an appropriate measure for evaluating the operating performance of our Company.  Adjusted operating income and similar measures with similar titles are common performance measures used by investors and analysts to analyze our performance. Internally, we use revenues and adjusted operating income measures as the most important indicators of our business performance, and evaluate management’s effectiveness with specific reference to these indicators.  Adjusted operating income should be viewed as a supplement to and not a substitute for operating income, net income, cash flows from operating activities, and other measures of performance and/or liquidity presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). Since adjusted operating income is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with GAAP, this measure may not be comparable to similar measures with similar titles used by other companies. For a reconciliation of operating income to adjusted operating income, please see page 6 of this release.

The Company defines Free Cash Flow (“Free Cash Flow”), which is a non-GAAP financial measure, as net cash provided by operating activities from continuing operations less capital expenditures, both of which are reported in our Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows.  Net cash provided by operating activities from continuing operations excludes net cash provided by operating activities of discontinued operations. The Company believes the most comparable GAAP financial measure is net cash provided by operating activities. The Company believes that Free Cash Flow is useful as an indicator of its overall ability to generate liquidity, as the amount of Free Cash Flow generated in any period is representative of cash that is generated for debt repayment, investment, and other discretionary and non-discretionary cash uses. The Company also believes that Free Cash Flow is one of several benchmarks used by analysts and investors for comparison of the Company’s generation of liquidity with other companies in the industry, although the Company’s measure of Free Cash Flow may not be directly comparable to similar measures reported by other companies.  For a reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to net cash provided by operating activities from continuing operations, please see page 8 of this release.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results, developments and events may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including financial community perceptions of the Company and its business, operations, financial condition and the industry in which it operates and the factors described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” contained therein. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein.

Contacts:

Kimberly Kerns
Communications
(212) 465-6442
Ari Danes, CFA
Investor Relations
(212) 465-6072
 

Conference Call Information:
The conference call will be Webcast live today at 10:00 a.m. ET at www.msgnetworks.com
Conference call dial-in number is 877-883-0832 / Conference ID Number 1588856
Conference call replay number is 855-859-2056 / Conference ID Number 1588856 until May 10, 2018


MSG NETWORKS INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)

    Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
    March 31,   March 31,
    2018   2017   2018   2017
Revenues   $ 186,568     $ 183,247     $ 525,246     $ 512,471  
Direct operating expenses   80,322     75,528     222,315     206,227  
Selling, general and administrative expenses   23,383     21,669     63,255     59,964  
Depreciation and amortization   2,279     2,576     7,153     7,734  
Operating income   80,584     83,474     232,523     238,546  
Other income (expense):                
Interest income   1,195     741     3,072     2,017  
Interest expense   (10,932 )   (10,204 )   (31,817 )   (29,433 )
Other components of net periodic benefit cost   (407 )   (420 )   (1,221 )   (1,186 )
    (10,144 )   (9,883 )   (29,966 )   (28,602 )
Income from continuing operations before income taxes   70,440     73,591     202,557     209,944  
Income tax benefit (expense)   (23,505 )   (29,436 )   41,103     (82,173 )
Income from continuing operations   46,935     44,155     243,660     127,771  
Loss from discontinued operations, net of taxes               (120 )
Net income   $ 46,935     $ 44,155     $ 243,660     $ 127,651  
Earnings per share:                
Basic                
Income from continuing operations   $ 0.62     $ 0.59     $ 3.23     $ 1.70  
Loss from discontinued operations                
Net income   $ 0.62     $ 0.59     $ 3.23     $ 1.70  
Diluted                
Income from continuing operations   $ 0.62     $ 0.58     $ 3.21     $ 1.69  
Loss from discontinued operations                
Net income   $ 0.62     $ 0.58     $ 3.21     $ 1.69  
Weighted-average number of common shares outstanding:                
Basic   75,540     75,264     75,427     75,194  
Diluted   76,017     75,643     75,844     75,505  
                         


MSG NETWORKS INC.

ADJUSTMENTS TO RECONCILE OPERATING INCOME
TO ADJUSTED OPERATING INCOME
(In thousands)

The following is a description of the adjustments to operating income in arriving at adjusted operating income as described in this earnings release:

  • Share-based compensation expense. This adjustment eliminates the compensation expense relating to restricted stock units and stock options granted under our employee stock plan and non-employee director stock plan in all periods.

  • Depreciation and amortization.  This adjustment eliminates depreciation, amortization and impairments of property and equipment and intangible assets in all periods.
    Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
    March 31,   March 31,
    2018   2017   2018   2017
Operating income   $ 80,584     $ 83,474     $ 232,523     $ 238,546  
Share-based compensation expense   2,862     2,389     10,581     7,438  
Depreciation and amortization   2,279     2,576     7,153     7,734  
Adjusted operating income   $ 85,725     $ 88,439     $ 250,257     $ 253,718  
                                 


MSG NETWORKS INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except per share data)

    March 31,
 2018
  June 30,
 2017
ASSETS   (unaudited)    
Current Assets:        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 194,574     $ 141,087  
Accounts receivable, net   109,410     105,030  
Related party receivables, net   25,872     17,153  
Prepaid income taxes   4,261     14,322  
Prepaid expenses   6,215     6,468  
Other current assets   3,867     2,343  
Total current assets   344,199     286,403  
Property and equipment, net   8,796     11,828  
Amortizable intangible assets, net   38,068     40,663  
Goodwill   424,508     424,508  
Other assets   40,007     41,642  
Total assets   $ 855,578     $ 805,044  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' DEFICIENCY        
Current Liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 654     $ 1,241  
Related party payables   965     2,963  
Current portion of long-term debt   72,414     72,414  
Income taxes payable   23,990     11,483  
Accrued liabilities:        
Employee related costs   11,802     14,238  
Other accrued liabilities   15,151     10,050  
Deferred revenue   7,000     5,071  
Total current liabilities   131,976     117,460  
Long-term debt, net of current portion   1,136,121     1,240,431  
Defined benefit and other postretirement obligations   29,252     29,979  
Other employee related costs   2,975     3,930  
Other liabilities   5,427     5,597  
Deferred tax liability   243,168     351,854  
Total liabilities   1,548,919     1,749,251  
Commitments and contingencies        
Stockholders' Deficiency:        
Class A Common stock, par value $0.01, 360,000 shares authorized; 61,696 and 61,497 shares outstanding as of
March 31, 2018 and June 30, 2017, respectively
  643     643  
Class B Common stock, par value $0.01, 90,000 shares authorized; 13,589 shares outstanding as of March 31, 2018 and June 30, 2017   136     136  
Preferred stock, par value $0.01, 45,000 shares authorized; none outstanding        
Additional paid-in capital   3,211     6,909  
Treasury stock, at cost, 2,563 and 2,762 shares as of March 31, 2018 and June 30, 2017, respectively   (184,449 )   (198,800 )
Accumulated deficit   (505,209 )   (746,539 )
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (7,673 )   (6,556 )
Total stockholders' deficiency   (693,341 )   (944,207 )
Total liabilities and stockholders' deficiency   $ 855,578     $ 805,044  
                 


MSG NETWORKS INC.

SUPPLEMENTAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)

Summary Data from the Statements of Cash Flows

    Nine Months Ended
    March 31,
    2018   2017
Net cash provided by operating activities from continuing operations   $ 164,851     $ 161,673  
Net cash used in investing activities from continuing operations   (1,470 )   (2,576 )
Net cash used in financing activities from continuing operations   (109,894 )   (101,019 )
Net cash provided by continuing operations   53,487     58,078  
Net cash used in discontinued operations       (976 )
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   141,087     119,568  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period   $ 194,574     $ 176,670  
         

Free Cash Flow

    Nine Months Ended
    March 31,
    2018   2017
Net cash provided by operating activities from continuing operations   $ 164,851     $ 161,673  
Less: Capital expenditures   (1,470 )   (2,576 )
Free cash flow   $ 163,381     $ 159,097  
         

Capitalization

     
    March 31, 2018
     
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 194,574  
Credit facility debt(a)   1,215,000  
Net debt   $ 1,020,426  
     
Reconciliation of operating income to AOI for trailing twelve-month period(b)    
Operating Income   $ 308,874  
Share-based compensation expense   13,074  
Depreciation and amortization   9,715  
Adjusted operating income   $ 331,663  
     
Leverage ratio(c)   3.1x
     
(a) Represents aggregate principal amount of the debt outstanding.
(b) Represents reported adjusted operating income for the trailing twelve months.
(c) Represents net debt divided by annualized adjusted operating income, which differs from the covenant calculation contained in the Company's credit facility.
 

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Source: MSG Networks Inc.

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