Saga Ready For Takeoff As Financial Optimism For 2024 Abounds


Despite a soft start to Q1, Saga Communications‘ optimism for the year ahead defined its first earnings call of 2024. Saga CEO Chris Forgy and CFO Sam Bush compared the company to an Airbus A330 aimed down the runway and speeding for takeoff with eyes on the skies.

In its latest financial results, Saga reported a decrease in net revenue by 3.3% to $29.1 million for the quarter ending December 31, 2023, compared to $30.1 million in the corresponding period the previous year. This downturn is largely attributed to a reduction in political advertising revenue, which fell to $407 thousand from $1.9 million year-over-year.

Excluding political revenue, the company’s gross revenue saw a marginal increase of approximately 1%.

However, operating expenses rose by 1.9% to $23.3 million, contributing to a decrease in operating income to $2.8 million from $4.9 million in the same quarter the previous year. Saga’s net income also saw a decline, falling to $2.5 million from $4.3 million year-over-year.

For the full year, Saga experienced a slight reduction in net revenue, down 1.8% to $112.8 million, impacted again by lower political advertising revenue, which decreased to $944 thousand from $3.6 million in the previous year. Despite these challenges, the company’s net income increased slightly to $9.5 million up from $9.2 million.

As for that future that Forgy is flying the company toward, a lot of that upward momentum is coming from the recent $5.3 million acquisition of Neuhoff Media’s Lafayette, IN, cluster. That sale is expected to close in the second quarter of 2024.

The company also reported on the success of its new online news service, which has already surpassed revenue expectations and expanded its launch to 18 markets by Q2, ahead of schedule.

Despite facing economic challenges common in the industry, such as inflation and late business bookings, Saga has adopted a proactive strategy. This approach has led to the implementation of 37 new growth strategies in the past 13 months, now beginning to show positive results. Saga’s Board of Directors subsequently declared the company’s first-ever variable dividend.


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