Sinclair reports third-quarter earnings that beat expectations

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings Wednesday and boosted its quarterly dividend after seeing strong growth in sales of political advertising.

The Hunt Valley-based TV station owner said revenue jumped nearly 19 percent to $766.3 million, compared with $644.5 million in the third quarter of 2017.

The company earned $63.9 million, or 62 cents per share, compared with $30.6 million, or 30 cents per share, in the same period of last year, it said.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 56 cents per share.

The quarters results includes $18 million in ticking fee costs related to financing commitments for the companys failed acquisition of Tribune Media.

Third quarter results came in ahead of guidance in all key financial metrics, and we expect to close out this year ahead of revenue and cash flow expectations, further improving the strongest balance sheet in our company's history," said Chris Ripley, Sinclairs president and CEO, in an announcement.

He said Sinclair repurchased 5 percent of its total shares outstanding after its board approved a $1 billion share buyback in the last quarter.

Sinclair shares ticked upward 49 cents, changing hands at $31.06 each in Wednesday morning trading.

Sinclair is coming off its biggest mid-term political advertising year in company history and expects political ads to be up 60 percent compared with the 2014 mid-term election cycle and 20 percent compared with the 2016 presidential year.

Those results prompted the in....

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