May 14, 2002
Belo outlines business strategies, provides financial guidance at annual investor conference
NEWYORK, NY-- In a conference today for the investment community, Belo(NYSE: BLC) executives outlined the Company's operating strategies, emphasizing Belo's distinctive characteristics and how these translate into value.
The Company also provided near-term financial guidance for an audience of more than 100 investors, financial analysts and media representatives.
Robert W. Decherd, Belo's chairman, president and chief executive officer, was joined by Jack Sander, executive vice president/Media Operations; Dunia A. Shive,
executive vice president/chief financial officer; and Jim Moroney, publisher and chief executive officer of The Dallas Morning News, in making presentations at the conference at the Museum of Television and Radio.
Decherd pointed to the consistent high quality of Belo's news product and a strong tie to local communities as the Company's core differentiators.
"Journalistic excellence breeds a unique relationship with our communities and audiences that leads to better ratings, higher circulation and growth in online users," he said.
"This, in turn, enables Belo companies to draw premium advertising rates and provides our operating companies with a disproportionate share of market revenue relative to share of audience."
Decherd said the Company's strategy of clustering its media assets in the high-growth regions of Texas, the Southwest and the Northwest affords Belo many synergies. Through numerous examples across the Company, Decherd demonstrated how the regional grouping of assets yielded stronger newsgathering capabilities; powerful sales, marketing and cross-promotional opportunities; and a wide range of operating efficiencies.
Belo executives also shared details of the Company's progress in meeting the evolving needs of audiences through its online products and local and regional
cable news products.
Shive provided financial guidance for the second quarter. Shive said, "The Television Group's spot revenues were flat in April, and we currently expect Television Group revenues to be up in the low single digits for the second quarter overall."
In the Newspaper Group, Shive said:"Adjusting for the effect of extra Sundays where appropriate, revenue declines at The Dallas Morning News have lessened each month in 2002 through April. Still, a definitive, predictable revenue pattern has not yet emerged. For the Newspaper Group overall, we currently expect second quarter revenue to be down in the low single digits."
Shive added: "Total cash expense in the second quarter should be better than the second quarter of last year by about 1 percent. Based on these revenue and expense assumptions, Belo's operating cash flow should be flat to up slightly in the second quarter.
"We currently expect earnings per share to be in the range of $0.26 to $0.28 before a non-cash credit of $0.02 related to favorable resolution of certain contingencies. At the beginning of 2002, Belo adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 142, which changes the accounting for goodwill and other intangible assets. The Company's previously reported earnings
per share before non-recurring charges of $0.13 for the second quarter of 2001 included $0.10 for amortization expense, net of tax, that would not have been
required had the new Statement been in effect.
Comparable earnings per share before non-recurring charges in the second quarter of 2001, therefore, would have been $0.23."
The non-recurring charges in the second quarter of 2001 related to a write-down of Belo's investments in certain Internet-related companies and a charge for early retirements and corporate staff reductions. A replay of Belo's Investor Conference presentation and additional information on Belo, including earnings releases, are available online at href=http://www.belo.com/ www.belo.com.
Belo (NYSE:BLC) is one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading
television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,800 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates news and information franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic region. Belo owns 19 television stations (six in the top 16 markets) reaching 13.9 percent of U.S. television households; owns or operates six cable
news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo publishes four daily newspapers: The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). Belo Interactive's new media businesses include 34 Web sites, several interactive alliances, and a broad range of Internet-based products. For more information, contact Carey Hendrickson, vice president/Investor Relations, at 214-977-6626. Additional information, including earnings releases, is available online at www.belo.com.
Statements in this communication concerning the Company's business outlook or future economic performance, anticipated profitability, revenues, expenses, capital expenditures or other financial items and other statements that are not historical facts, are "forward-looking statements" as the term is defined under applicable Federal Securities Laws.
Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those statements.
Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to, changes in advertising demand, interest rates and newsprint prices; technological changes; development of Internet commerce; industry cycles; changes in pricing or other actions by competitors and suppliers; regulatory changes; the effects of Company acquisitions and dispositions; and general economic conditions, as well as other risks detailed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), including the Annual Report on Form 10-K.