Beasley Media Group has joined the list of companies pre-announcing their fourth quarter 2020 financial results. And like its peers, revenues were down year-over-year but earnings increased due to lower operating expenses made possible by extensive cutbacks. In Beasley’s case, earnings shot up by more than 25% which gave its stock price a brief boost in morning trading.
According to the preliminary unaudited results issued before the opening bell rang on Wall Street, Beasley’s Q4 revenues were $67.4 million to $67.9, compared to $72.1 million in the prior year period, for a decrease of between 5.8% and 6.5%. The culprit, of course was the pandemic’s continued impact on ad bookings. However Beasley says it posted revenue gains in digital, esports and political revenue.
Earnings, meanwhile, rocketed up into the $17.0 million to $18.2 million neighborhood, from $13.6 million in Q4 2019, a year-over-year increase of 25.0% to 33.8%.
The company experienced what it earlier called a “strong recovery” in third quarter 2020, compared to Q2, and CEO Caroline Beasley said Thursday she expects that sequential improvement to continue in fourth quarter. The preliminary results, reported in a regulatory filing, “demonstrates the significant operating benefits from the actions we took earlier this year to address the pandemic, including reducing station operating expenses and negotiating discounts with landlords, service providers and partners,” she said.
As of August, the company had taken $26 million out of its total cost structure by reducing operating expenses and corporate overhead.
Like other CEOs, Beasley is being cautious about forecasting what the ongoing COVID-19 impact will be on ad revenues in the coming months. “We remain optimistic that the commercial advertising market will return to more normalized revenue levels as we move further into the year, following broad vaccine distribution,” she said.
Shares of “BBGI” shot up 11% on the news Thursday morning, before tapering off in the midday. As of early afternoon they were trading at $1.90, up 1%.