Sinclair sees rising Q4 ad spend; buys 8 TV stations

Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at The Baltimore Sun.

TV station owner Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc sees fourth-quarter core broadcast revenue growing on higher ad spend from Japanese auto makers and rising political ad spending, and said it bought eight television stations for $385 million.

The addition of Freedom Communications' TV stations gives the company two full-power stations in the West Palm Beach market, Sinclair said.


Excluding expenses, net broadcast revenues are expected to rise 3.2-5 percent in the fourth quarter from the year-ago period.

"For the fourth quarter, we expect our stations to benefit from a low-teen percent growth rate in ad spending by the automotive industry, as compared to fourth quarter 2010, and about $3.5 million in political revenues," Chief Executive David Smith said.


For the third quarter, net income rose to $19.2 million, or 24 cents per share, from $14.3 million, or 18 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $180.8 million from a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected third-quarter earnings of 18 cents per share, on revenue of $177.2 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Shares of the Hunt Valley-based company closed at $8.93 on Tuesday on Nasdaq.

They had gained 36 percent since early September when the company said it would buy seven TV stations run by Four Points Media from Cerberus Capital Management LP for $200 million.