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MSG Networks Inc. Reports Fiscal 2019 First Quarter Results

Fiscal 2019 first quarter revenues of $164.5 million

Fiscal 2019 first quarter operating income of $78.9 million

Fiscal 2019 first quarter adjusted operating income of $84.6 million

NEW YORK, Nov. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MSG Networks Inc. (NYSE: MSGN) today reported financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended September 30, 2018.

For the fiscal 2019 first quarter, MSG Networks Inc. generated revenues of $164.5 million, an increase of 4% as compared with the prior year period.  In addition, the Company generated operating income of $78.9 million, adjusted operating income of $84.6 million and net income of $46.9 million.(1)

President and CEO Andrea Greenberg said, "We had a strong start to fiscal 2019 driven by our continued commitment to building on our financial, operational and strategic successes.  The 2018-19 NBA and NHL seasons are underway and we remain focused on leveraging our exclusive live game content, while we continue to innovate with new features and formats, to deliver meaningful value for our viewers, as well as our affiliates, advertisers and shareholders."

Fiscal Year 2019 First Quarter Results    
(In thousands, except per share data)
  Three Months Ended
    September 30,
    2018
Revenues   $ 164,464  
Operating income   78,861  
Adjusted operating income   84,582  
Net Income   46,930  
Diluted EPS   $ 0.62  
     
  1. See page 3 of this earnings release for the definition of adjusted operating income included in the discussion of non-GAAP financial measures.

Summary of Reported Results from Operations
Fiscal 2019 first quarter total revenues of $164.5 million increased 4%, or $7.0 million, as compared with the prior year period.  Affiliation fee revenue increased $6.5 million, primarily due to higher affiliation rates, partially offset by the impact of a low single-digit percentage decrease in subscribers versus the prior year period.  Advertising revenue decreased $0.1 million, while other revenues increased $0.6 million as compared with the prior year period.

Direct operating expenses of $66.7 million increased 6%, or $3.6 million, as compared with the prior year period.  The increase was primarily due to higher rights fees expense and, to a lesser extent, higher other programming-related costs.  The increase in rights fees expense primarily reflects annual contractual rate increases and a full quarter impact of the step-up in expense related to the renewal of a rights agreement with the Buffalo Sabres, as compared to a partial quarter impact in the prior year period.

Selling, general and administrative expenses of $16.9 million increased 9%, or $1.3 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to higher advertising and marketing costs, and employee compensation and related benefits (including share-based compensation expense).

Operating income of $78.9 million increased 3%, or $2.5 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to the increase in revenues, partially offset by higher direct operating expenses and, to a lesser extent, higher selling, general and administrative expenses (including share-based compensation expense).

Adjusted operating income of $84.6 million increased 3%, or $2.9 million, as compared with the prior year period, primarily due to the increase in revenues, partially offset by higher direct operating expenses and, to a lesser extent, higher selling, general and administrative expenses (excluding share-based compensation expense).

About MSG Networks Inc.
An industry leader in sports production, and content development and distribution, MSG Networks Inc. owns and operates two award-winning regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network (MSGN) and MSG+, and a live streaming and video on demand platform, MSG GO. The networks are home to 10 professional sports teams, delivering live games of the New York Knicks; New York Rangers; New York Islanders; New Jersey Devils; Buffalo Sabres; New York Liberty; New York Red Bulls and the Westchester Knicks, as well as coverage of the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills.  Each year, MSGN and MSG+ collectively telecast approximately 500 live professional games, along with a comprehensive lineup of other sporting events, including college football and basketball, and critically-acclaimed original programming.  The gold standard for regional broadcasting, MSG Networks has won 152 New York Emmy Awards over the past ten years.

/EIN News/ -- Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We define adjusted operating income, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, as operating income before 1) depreciation, amortization and impairments of property and equipment and intangible assets, 2) share-based compensation expense or benefit, 3) restructuring charges or credits and 4) gains or losses on sales or dispositions of businesses.  Because it is based upon operating income, adjusted operating income also excludes interest expense (including cash interest expense) and other non-operating income and expense items. We believe that the exclusion of share-based compensation expense or benefit allows investors to better track the performance of the Company without regard to the settlement of an obligation that is not expected to be made in cash.

We believe adjusted operating income is an appropriate measure for evaluating the operating performance of our Company.  Adjusted operating income and similar measures with similar titles are common performance measures used by investors and analysts to analyze our performance. Internally, we use revenues and adjusted operating income measures as the most important indicators of our business performance, and evaluate management’s effectiveness with specific reference to these indicators.  Adjusted operating income should be viewed as a supplement to and not a substitute for operating income, net income, cash flows from operating activities, and other measures of performance and/or liquidity presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). Since adjusted operating income is not a measure of performance calculated in accordance with GAAP, this measure may not be comparable to similar measures with similar titles used by other companies. For a reconciliation of operating income to adjusted operating income, please see page 6 of this release.

The Company defines Free Cash Flow (“Free Cash Flow”), which is a non-GAAP financial measure, as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures, both of which are reported in our Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows.  The Company believes the most comparable GAAP financial measure is net cash provided by operating activities. The Company believes that Free Cash Flow is useful as an indicator of its overall ability to generate liquidity, as the amount of Free Cash Flow generated in any period is representative of cash that is generated for debt repayment, investment, and other discretionary and non-discretionary cash uses. The Company also believes that Free Cash Flow is one of several benchmarks used by analysts and investors for comparison of the Company’s generation of liquidity with other companies in the industry, although the Company’s measure of Free Cash Flow may not be directly comparable to similar measures reported by other companies.  For a reconciliation of Free Cash Flow to net cash provided by operating activities, please see page 8 of this release.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results, developments and events may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including financial community perceptions of the Company and its business, operations, financial condition and the industry in which it operates and the factors described in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” contained therein. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein.

Contacts:

Kimberly Kerns
Communications
(212) 465-6442
Ari Danes, CFA
Investor Relations
(212) 465-6072

Conference Call Information:
The conference call will be Webcast live today at 10:00 a.m. ET at www.msgnetworks.com 
Conference call dial-in number is 877-883-0832 / Conference ID Number 1577714
Conference call replay number is 855-859-2056 / Conference ID Number 1577714 until November 9, 2018


MSG NETWORKS INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)

    Three Months Ended
    September 30,
    2018   2017
Revenues   $ 164,464     $ 157,456  
Direct operating expenses    66,655     63,091  
Selling, general and administrative expenses   16,903     15,561  
Depreciation and amortization    2,045     2,451  
Operating income    78,861     76,353  
Other income (expense):        
Interest income    1,592     878  
Interest expense    (11,922 )   (10,643 )
Other components of net periodic benefit cost    (405 )   (407 )
    (10,735 )   (10,172 )
Income from operations before income taxes   68,126     66,181  
Income tax expense   (21,196 )   (25,024 )
Net income    $ 46,930     $ 41,157  
Earnings per share:        
Basic        
Net income    $ 0.63     $ 0.55  
Diluted        
Net income    $ 0.62     $ 0.54  
Weighted-average number of common shares outstanding:        
Basic    74,895     75,285  
Diluted    75,693     75,779  


MSG NETWORKS INC.
ADJUSTMENTS TO RECONCILE OPERATING INCOME
TO ADJUSTED OPERATING INCOME
(In thousands)

The following is a description of the adjustments to operating income in arriving at adjusted operating income as described in this earnings release:

  • Share-based compensation expense. This adjustment eliminates the compensation expense relating to restricted stock units and stock options granted under our employee stock plan and non-employee director stock plan in all periods.

  • Depreciation and amortization.  This adjustment eliminates depreciation, amortization and impairments of property and equipment and intangible assets in all periods.
    Three Months Ended
    September 30,
    2018   2017
Operating income   $ 78,861     $ 76,353  
Share-based compensation expense   3,676     2,921  
Depreciation and amortization   2,045     2,451  
Adjusted operating income   $ 84,582     $ 81,725  


MSG NETWORKS INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands, except per share data)

    September 30,
 2018
  June 30,
 2018
ASSETS   (unaudited)    
Current Assets:        
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 170,083     $ 205,343  
Accounts receivable, net   109,519     110,657  
Related party receivables, net   2,345     12,100  
Prepaid income taxes   5,773     1,134  
Prepaid expenses   3,279     4,489  
Other current assets   5,994     4,719  
Total current assets   296,993     338,442  
Property and equipment, net   9,679     10,029  
Amortizable intangible assets, net   36,338     37,203  
Goodwill   424,508     424,508  
Other assets   38,926     39,430  
Total assets   $ 806,444     $ 849,612  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' DEFICIENCY        
Current Liabilities:        
Accounts payable   $ 301     $ 1,460  
Related party payables   1,037     785  
Current portion of long-term debt   72,414     72,414  
Income taxes payable   18,507     8,460  
Accrued liabilities:        
Employee related costs   7,703     15,342  
Other accrued liabilities   6,922     8,129  
Deferred revenue   4,458     4,626  
Total current liabilities   111,342     111,216  
Long-term debt, net of current portion   1,024,914     1,118,017  
Defined benefit and other postretirement obligations   25,647     28,170  
Other employee related costs   4,619     4,560  
Other liabilities   4,100     3,974  
Deferred tax liability   246,046     241,417  
Total liabilities   1,416,668     1,507,354  
Commitments and contingencies        
Stockholders' Deficiency:        
Class A Common stock, par value $0.01, 360,000 shares authorized; 61,235 and 61,017 shares outstanding as of
September 30, 2018 and June 30, 2018, respectively
  643     643  
Class B Common stock, par value $0.01, 90,000 shares authorized; 13,589 shares outstanding as of September 30, 2018 and June 30, 2018   136     136  
Preferred stock, par value $0.01, 45,000 shares authorized; none outstanding        
Additional paid-in capital       4,067  
Treasury stock, at cost, 3,024 and 3,242 shares as of September 30, 2018 and June 30, 2018, respectively   (182,714 )   (195,881 )
Accumulated deficit   (421,666 )   (460,007 )
Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (6,623 )   (6,700 )
Total stockholders' deficiency   (610,224 )   (657,742 )
Total liabilities and stockholders' deficiency   $ 806,444     $ 849,612  


MSG NETWORKS INC.
SUPPLEMENTAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION

(Dollars in thousands)
(Unaudited)

Summary Data from the Statements of Cash Flows

    Three Months Ended
    September 30,
    2018   2017
Net cash provided by operating activities   $ 62,978     $ 52,419  
Net cash used in investing activities   (830 )   (484 )
Net cash used in financing activities   (97,408 )   (20,074 )
Net cash provided by (used in) operations   (35,260 )   31,861  
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period   205,343     141,087  
Cash and cash equivalents at end of period   $ 170,083     $ 172,948  
         

Free Cash Flow

    Three Months Ended
    September 30,
    2018   2017
Net cash provided by operating activities   $ 62,978     $ 52,419  
Less: Capital expenditures   (830 )   (484 )
Free cash flow   $ 62,148     $ 51,935  
         

Capitalization

     
    September 30, 2018
     
Cash and cash equivalents   $ 170,083  
Credit facility debt(a)   1,102,500  
Net debt   $ 932,417  
     
Reconciliation of operating income to AOI for trailing twelve-month period(b)    
Operating Income   $ 315,666  
Share-based compensation expense   14,734  
Depreciation and amortization   8,932  
Adjusted operating income   $ 339,332  
     
Leverage ratio(c)     2.7x  
     
(a) Represents aggregate principal amount of the debt outstanding.
(b) Represents reported adjusted operating income for the trailing twelve months.
(c) Represents net debt divided by annualized adjusted operating income, which differs from the covenant calculation contained in the Company's credit facility.

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