Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NXST) Q3 2020 Earnings Call Transcript @themotleyfool #stocks $NXST

Reported third quarter direct operating expenses, net of trade, primarily reflect a full quarter of expenses related to the operation of the acquired Tribune stations and budgeted increases in network affiliation expense as a partial offset to Nexstar’s rising distribution revenue. In summary, Nexstar’s leading local platforms have performed exceptionally well despite the challenges presented by the pandemic. Our capital allocations in 2020 to date highlight that our free cash flow and active management of both our cost structure and balance sheet provide us with the financial flexibility to continue to support our shareholder value creation activities. As a result, Nexstar remains highly confident in our long-term strategies of serving our communities, building our top line, maintaining close control of fixed and variable costs and optimizing our balance sheet. These strategies will enable Nexstar to extend our strong long-term record of growth and shareholder value creation. With our 169% year-to-date free cash flow growth contractual distribution fee revenues, our food network distributions and historically low LIBOR rates which have reduced our interest expense, we believe our operating and financial disciplines have strengthened the resiliency of our business and created unrivaled local marketing platforms, all the while supporting growing returns to our shareholders.

With that, let me turn the call now over to Tom Carter for the financial review. Tom?

Tom CarterChief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Perry, and good morning, everybody. I’ll outline — as outlined in this morning’s press release, the actual results for the three months ended 09/30/2020, reflect the company’s legacy Nexstar Broadcast and Digital operations and a full quarter of results from Tribune Media stations, which we acquired on September 19, 2019. The third quarter 2020 revenue from WGN America also acquired in the Tribune transaction, is included in core television advertising revenue and distribution fee revenue. A full quarter of contribution from Nexstar’s 31.3% ownership stake in the TV Food network and other investments acquired in the Tribune transaction is included in the full income statement under income or loss on equity investments net and in the cash flow statement under distributions from equity investments. The comparable three-month period ended 09/30/2019, reflects the legacy Nexstar operations during that period and a stub period that results for the assets acquired under the Tribune acquisition from 09/’19 through 09/30 of 2019. All actual results reflect the impact of $17.2 million and $34 million of onetime transaction expenses incurred in the quarters ending September 30, 2020, and September 30, 2019, respectively. With that, I’ll start a quick update on the Q3 capital markets activity, which is reflected in a partial quarter in the operating results and on the balance sheet at quarter end. On 09/03, Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. and Mission Broadcasting entered into an incremental secured revolving credit facility in an aggregate principal amount of $280 million, of which $250 million was allocated to Mission and $30 million allocated to Nexstar.

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