Univision Third-Quarter Earnings Rise

Univision Communications CEO Randy Falco

The Spanish-language broadcaster, led by CEO Randy Falco and eyeing an IPO, says ad revenue fell 2.7 percent, but core ad revenue rose 5.8 percent.

Univision Communications on Tuesday reported improved third-quarter financials.

The Spanish-language media giant, which is planning an IPO, posted earnings of $109.8 million for the latest quarter, compared with a year-ago profit of $42.8 million.

Third-quarter operating earnings reached $296.1 million, compared with $235.2 million. Bank credit adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA), another profitability metric, rose 24.2 percent to $391.4 million. Adjusted for various one-time and special items, it increased 14.0 percent.

Quarterly revenue rose 10 percent to $801.5 million. Advertising revenue decreased 2.7 percent to $517.7 million, but subscriber fee and content licensing revenue rose. Excluding the estimated incremental impact of such one-time events as the 2014 FIFA soccer World Cup, the estimated incremental impact of the 2015 Gold Cup and political/advocacy advertising revenue, core advertising revenue for the third quarter rose 5.8 percent.

The firm's media networks unit posted an OIBDA gain of 24.8 percent, while radio OIBDA was up 4.3 percent despite a 8.3 percent revenue drop.

Univision operates such assets as broadcast networks Univision Network and UniMas, formerly Telefutura, as well as cable channel Galavision and sports network Univision Deportes.

Said Falco: "We reported record EBITDA in the third quarter. Our strong operational performance is powered by our unique relationship with our audience, our reach across platforms and our broad portfolio — which differentiates us from our competition and puts us in a strong position."

He added: "It’s our differentiators that make us stand out in the industry, and together with our third-quarter performance, we believe that we are positioned for continued growth.”

On the company's earnings conference call, management said fourth-quarter advertising revenue was pacing up in the low single-digit percentage range. Media networks are trending up in the low- to mid-single digit range, with strong growth in digital and solid growth in the networks space. TV networks ad growth is outpacing TV stations growth, while radio is expected to continue declining in the mid-single digit percentage range for now.

"Univision is a gateway to the Hispanic community," Falco said on the call, lauding it for its close relationship with viewers and their trust in the brand. Management said that will be one of the reasons why Univision will benefit from political ad spending during the elections next year.