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Saga Communications, Inc. Reports 4th Quarter and Year End 2018 Results; Net Operating Revenue increased 4.7% for the Quarter and 5.7% for the Year

Saga Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGA) today reported net revenue increased 4.7% to $32.9 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2018.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $2.3 million to $6.0 million compared to $3.7 million last year.  Operating income increased $2.1 million to $6.0 million and station operating expense increased $523 thousand to $23.8 million for the quarter.  Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.72/share in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $2.52/share during the same period in 2017.  During the 4th quarter of 2017, the Company recognized an income tax benefit of $11.2 million compared to an income tax expense of $1.7 million for the same period in 2018.  The income tax benefit in 2017 was primarily due to an $11.5 million reduction in our deferred tax liability as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  Free cash flow from continuing operations was $5.9 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2018, compared to $6.6 million for the same period in 2017.

Net revenue increased 5.7% to $124.8 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018.  Income from continuing operations before tax increased $3.1 million to $19.4 million compared to $16.3 million last year.  Operating income increased $2.5 million to $19.7 million and station operating expense increased $6.0 million to $93.7 million for the twelve month period.  Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $2.30/share for the twelve month period in 2018 compared to $3.77/share during the same period in 2017.  Free cash flow from continuing operations was $19.5 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, compared to $17.4 million for the same period in 2017.

On a same station basis for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, net revenue increased 1.1% to $116.5 million.  Operating income increased $2.6 million to $19.4 million and station operating expense increased $642 thousand to $86.0 million.

The Company had $44.7 million in cash on hand as of December 31, 2018, and $40.7 million as of March 11, 2019.  The Company’s total bank debt was $20 million of December 31, 2018, and $15 million as of March 11, 2019.  Including the recently announced $0.30 per share dividend which will be paid on March 29, 2019, the Company will have paid over $64 million in dividends since December 3, 2012.

The results for the twelve month period ended December 31, 2017, were affected by the sale of the Company’s television stations and purchase of radio stations in Charleston and Hilton Head, SC on September 1, 2017.

Capital expenditures from continuing operations were $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 which was flat with the same period in 2017.  For the total year, capital expenditures from continuing operations were $5.9 million in 2018 compared to $6.3 million in 2017.  The Company expects to spend approximately $5.0 to 5.5 million for capital expenditures during 2019.

The Company closed on its purchase of the assets of radio stations WOGK(FM), WNDT(FM), WNDD(FM) and WNDN(FM), from Ocala Broadcasting Corporation, LLC on December 31, 2018.  All the stations serve the Gainesville-Ocala, Florida radio market.

Saga’s 2018 4th Quarter and Year End conference call will be on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. EDT.  The dial-in number for the call is 612/288-0329.  A transcript of the call will be posted to the Company’s website as soon as it is available after the call.

The Company requests that all parties that have a question that they would like to submit to the Company to please email the inquiry by 10:00 a.m. EDT on March 12, 2019, to SagaIR@sagacom.com. The Company will discuss, during the limited period of the conference call, those inquiries it deems of general relevance and interest. Only inquiries made in compliance with the foregoing will be discussed during the call.

SOURCE: Saga Communications

www.sagacom.com

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