Hunt Valley-based Sinclair Broadcast Group said it's wrapped up financing to purchase more than 20 regional sports networks from Disney. The company also reported revenue grew by 5.6% in the second quarter.
Hunt Valley-based Sinclair Broadcast Group said it's wrapped up financing to purchase more than 20 regional sports networks from Disney. The company also reported revenue grew by 5.6% in the second quarter. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Sinclair Broadcast Group boosted profit and revenue in the second quarter and closed the financing to acquire 21 regional sports networks and Fox College Sports from The Walt Disney Co., the company said Wednesday.

The Hunt Valley broadcaster said in May it planned to partner with the owner of The Weather Channel to buy the sports networks from Disney for $10.6 billion.

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Sinclair’s revenue jumped 5.6% to $771 million in the quarter that ended June 30, compared with revenue of $730 million in last year’s second quarter.

Income rose to $42 million, or 45 cents per share, compared with net income of $28 million, or 27 cents per share, in the April-to-June period of 2018. Earnings would have been 70 cents per share when adjusted for one-time legal, regulatory and transaction costs, the company said.

“We continue to make great strides in the transformation of Sinclair to a diversified media company,” said Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s president and CEO, in an announcement.

Sinclair has closed on bond financing and finalized bank financing for the Fox sports networks acquisition and expects the deal to close during the third quarter, Ripley said.

The company met and in some cases beat its expectations for broadcast performance during the quarter, Ripley said.

Media revenues were up 3.6% to $721 million, an amount Sinclair first reported last month in preliminary financial results. The broadcaster had announced those preliminary results a day after David D. Smith, Sinclair’s executive chairman, bought company stock valued at nearly $21.8 million.

Political advertising revenues were $3 million compared with $28 million in the second quarter of 2018, an election year. Digital business revenue jumped 30%, the company said.

Yet Sinclair’s stock skidded nearly 4.6% to close at $46.78 a share at a volatile day for U.S. stocks.

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