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Cumulus Announces Q3 Prelim Numbers

Company feels recovery is gaining traction but debt still looms

Financially troubled Cumulus is touting another quarter of revenue growth and says it has enough cash to keep operating despite carrying an imposing debt load of $2.4 billion.

The broadcaster saw 3% to 6% year-over-year revenue growth for the third quarter 2017, according to preliminary numbers it released today. The broadcaster projects net revenue in the range of $286 million to $288 million for the quarter that ended September 30. Q3 revenue in 2016 was $286.1 million.

A full blown detailed report from the broadcaster will be coming in early November, but for now the company says its financial turnaround has gained traction.

Mary Berner, president and chief executive officer of Cumulus Media Inc., said in a statement, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold. We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends. This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One.

The company has been open about the grave nature of its financial situation. It has been in recent talks with several groups of creditors hoping to restructure of its debt.

“With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt. Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future — investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”

Cumulus continues to develop innovative products and service offerings, Berner says, such as the Westwood One ROI Guarantee, the first industry-wide ROI guarantee in the audio space, and the initial Voice First initiative, which is the launch of Amazon Alexa skills for nearly 300 stations and over 100 Cumulus-owned Westwood One network brands.

Cumulus still runs the risk of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because of its sub-$1 stock price. NASDAQ rules require a minimum $1.00 share price for common stock to maintain compliance. Cumulus earlier this month disclosed it has scheduled an appeal hearing to with NASDAQ officials to discuss a delisting notice it received. It’s not clear if that meeting between Cumulus and NASDAQ has taken place.

“At this appeal hearing, the NASDAQ hearings panel will consider this additional matter relating to the minimum bid price requirement in rendering a determination regarding the company’s continued listing on NASDAQ,” the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing early this month.

Cumulus owns approximately 447 radio stations and operates in 90 U.S. media markets.