News Column

Crown Media Holdings Announces Operating Results for Fourth Quarter of 2013

February 21, 2014

STUDIO CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Crown Media Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRWN) today reported its operating results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2013.

Operating Highlights

  • Increased Advertising Revenue. Advertising revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, increased 17% over the prior year quarter to $97.3 million on the strength of ratings on Hallmark Channel and robust pricing on Hallmark Movie Channel.
  • Hallmark Channel Holiday Success: Countdown to Christmas programming garnered record ratings, propelling Hallmark Channel to experience its highest rated quarter (Fourth Quarter 2013), highest month (December); 2 highest weeks (November 25-December 1 and December 9-15); and highest day (Sunday, November 10) in network history. In addition, Fourth Quarter also delivered the channel’s highest-rated telecast to-date with the November 10th premiere of A Very Merry Mix-up garnering a 3.9 household rating. The Twelve New Movies of Christmas elevated Hallmark Channel to rank as the #1 cable network among households and women 25-54 for weekend Primetime (Saturday – Sunday, 8-11pm) throughout the holiday season, and #2 in total primetime (/Monday – Sunday, 8-11pm) among households, second only to ESPN.
  • Hallmark Movie Channel’s Ratings and Delivery Success for Full Year 2013 and Fourth Quarter: Hallmark Movie Channel continues to see ratings increases, with the network recording 11% year-over-year growth among women 25-54 for full year 2013 versus 2012. Fourth Quarter was the network’s highest rated quarter to-date in both Primetime and Total Day among households, women 18-49, adults 18-49, and persons 2+. Buoyed by its holiday franchise, The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas, HMC also experienced its most watched week (November 18-24, 2013) and month (November) in network history. The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas also delivered the network’s most watched original movie ever among households and women 25-54, with the November 25th premiere of Christmas with Tucker, which earned a 1.2 household rating and drew 615,000 households and 124,000 women 25-54.
  • Crown Media Further Extends Reach of Hallmark Channel’s Content Online: Crown Media announced partnerships with AOL and blinkx, leaders in the distribution of content across digital platforms, to syndicate short-form, promotional content from Hallmark Channel to their extensive network of affiliate sites. These deals will elevate Hallmark Channel’s visibility online, drive viewers back to the linear channel, and open up a new stream for revenue.

    “Crown Media experienced strong ratings growth and operating results in fourth quarter and full year 2013, driven by our strategy to expand and enhance our original programming slates for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel,” said Bill Abbott, President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks. “In addition to the success of our first original scripted series, Cedar Cove, Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas campaign positively impacted advertising sales revenue and garnered record high ratings in Fourth Quarter, including the highest quarter, month, week, day, and telecast in network history. Hallmark Movie Channel saw double digit year-over-year ratings growth versus 2012, continued to see solid distribution increases for the year, and closed out a successful fourth quarter with the launch of the network’s own holiday programming franchise, The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas. We are well positioned at the outset of 2014 to build on the momentum we saw last year and further drive our bottom line.”

    Financial Results

    Historical financial information is provided in tables at the end of this release.

    Operating Results

    For the fourth quarter of 2013 Crown Media reported revenue of $118.4 million, a 16% increase from $102.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012. Advertising revenue increased 17% to $97.3 million from $83.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to ratings growth on Hallmark Channel and pricing increases on Hallmark Movie Channel. Subscriber fee revenue increased 8% to $20.5 million from $19.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to contractual rate increases.

    Crown Media reported revenue of $377.8 million for 2013, an 8% increase from $349.9 million for 2012. Advertising revenue increased 9% to $294.8 million during 2013 from $271.2 million during 2012 due to 6% and 24% increases in Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel advertising revenue, respectively, primarily due to the increase in ratings for certain of our key demographics and growth in Hallmark Movie Channel subscribers and rates. Subscriber fee revenue increased 5% to $81.8 million during 2013 from $78.0 million during 2012 due to contractual rate increases.

    For the fourth quarter of 2013, cost of services increased slightly to $39.9 million from $39.8 million during the same quarter of 2012. Programming costs remained constant quarter over quarter. Other costs of services for the three months ended December 31, 2013 increased $0.1 million from the three months ended December 31, 2012, due to the $0.1 million increase in bad debt expense.

    For 2013, cost of services increased less than 1% to $149.1 million from $148.3 million during 2012. Programming costs remained constant year over year. Other costs of services during 2013 increased $1.4 million compared to 2012 primarily due to a $0.8 increase in bad debt expense and a $0.6 million increase in employee and playback costs.

    Selling, general and administrative expense (including depreciation and amortization expense) increased 8% to $18.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 from $17.2 million during the same quarter of 2012 primarily related to a $1.8 million increase in employee costs and a $1.0 million increase in research, accounting and communication costs, offset, in part, by a $1.5 million decrease in legal costs.

    Selling, general and administrative expense (including depreciation and amortization expense) increased 8% to $65.3 million for 2013, from $60.6 million during 2012 primarily related to a $3.9 million increase in employee costs, a $0.3 million increase in rent, and a $0.4 million increase in depreciation and amortization expense.

    Marketing expense decreased $2.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2013 versus the fourth quarter of 2012 as the Company allocated more of its marketing dollars to holiday programming during fourth quarter 2012. Marketing expense increased $1.4 million during 2013 versus 2012 as the Company allocated more funds to marketing to drive additional audience, particularly around the Company’s first original series, Cedar Cove.

    Interest expense decreased $1.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, as compared to the same quarter of 2012 due to an amendment to the Company’s credit facility that reduced the minimum rate on LIBOR borrowings under the term loan from 5.75% to 4.00% and $33.2 million of principal payments made during 2013. Interest expense on the term loan was $3.0 million and $1.9 million for the quarters ended December 31, 2012 and 2013, respectively.

    Interest expense decreased $3.5 million during 2013, as compared to 2012. Interest expense on the term loan was $12.2 million and $8.8 million during 2012 and 2013, respectively.

    Provisions for income tax of $17.2 million and $41.6 million reflect corresponding effective tax rates of 39.2% and 38.1% for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2013, respectively. The income tax benefits recorded for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2012, were $44.8 million and $22.6 million, respectively.

    Adjusted EBITDA was $56.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $38.5 million for the same period last year. Cash provided by operating activities totaled $23.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $10.5 million for the same period last year. The net income to common shareholders for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, totaled $26.7 million, or $0.07 per share, compared to $70.1 million, or $0.19 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2012.

    Adjusted EBITDA was $159.8 million for 2013 compared to $137.7 million for 2012. Cash provided by operating activities totaled $57.6 million during 2013 compared to $30.7 million during 2012. The net income to common shareholders for 2013 totaled $67.7 million, or $0.19 per share, compared to $107.4 million, or $0.30 per share, in 2012.

    Conference Call and Webcast to be Held Friday, February 21st at 11:00 a.m. ET

    Crown Media Holdings’ management will conduct a conference call today at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time to discuss the results of the three months and year ended December 31, 2013. Investors and interested parties may listen to the call via a live webcast accessible on the Company's investor relations page, http://ir.crownmedia.net/, or by dialing (877) 307-0246 (Domestic) or (224) 357-2394 (International) and using the conference number 35346232. For those listeners accessing the call through the Company's website, please register and download audio software at the site at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the call. The webcast will be archived on the site, and a telephone replay of the call will be available for 7 days following the call beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, February 21st, at (855) 859-2056 (Domestic) or (404) 537-3406 (International), using the conference number 35346232.

    ABOUT CROWN MEDIA HOLDINGS

    Crown Media Holdings, Inc. is the corporate parent for the portfolio of cable networks and related businesses under Crown Media Family Networks. The company currently operates and distributes Hallmark Channel in both high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to over 86 million subscribers in the U.S. Hallmark Channel is the nation’s leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of TV movies and specials; original scripted series, including Cedar Cove and When Calls the Heart; as well as some of television’s most beloved sitcoms and series. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movie Channel, is available in 53 million homes in HD and SD. One of America’s fastest-growing cable networks, Hallmark Movie Channel provides family-friendly original movies with a mix of original films, classic theatrical releases, and presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library. In addition, Crown Media Family Networks includes the online offerings of HallmarkChannel.com and HallmarkMovieChannel.com.

    Forward-looking Statements

    Statements contained in this press release may contain forward-looking statements as contemplated by the 1995 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act that are based on management’s current expectations, estimates and projections. Words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include: competition for distribution of channels, viewers, advertisers, and the acquisition of programming; fluctuations in the availability of programming; fluctuations in demand for the programming Crown Media airs on its channels; our ability to address our liquidity needs; our incurrence of losses; our substantial indebtedness affecting our financial condition and results; and other risks detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Risk Factors stated in the Company’s most recent 10-K and 10-Q Reports. Crown Media Holdings is not undertaking any obligation to release publicly any updates to any forward looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

    Use of Adjusted EBITDA

    Crown Media evaluates operating performance based on several factors, including Adjusted EBITDA. Our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA adds back non-cash expenses and other items mentioned below.

    Our measure of Adjusted EBITDA differs from the normal definition of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) used by most companies. We define Adjusted EBITDA as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, subscriber acquisition fee amortization, and other non-cash expenses. For this purpose, restricted stock unit compensation and long term incentive plan expense are treated as non-cash items, although they may result in cash payments during subsequent periods. See “Selected Unaudited

    Financial Information” below for a reconciliation to GAAP net income. Management views Adjusted EBITDA as a critical measure of our operating performance and monitors this measure closely. We disclose Adjusted EBITDA so that our investors can have some of the same information available to our management to evaluate their investment in our Company.

    We also believe that an Adjusted EBITDA provides an indication of the Company's ability to generate cash flows from operating activities since our non-cash expenses are excluded from our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA. The Adjusted EBITDA calculation allows the Company to assess how much is available to pay debt service and gives a further indication of how much remains to fund discretionary expenditures such as the acquisition of programming or additional subscriber base. However, Adjusted EBITDA should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, historical operating income or loss, net loss, cash flow from operations and other measures of financial performance reported in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.

    Adjusted EBITDA differs significantly from cash flows from operating activities reflected in the consolidated statement of cash flows. Cash flow from operating activities is net of interest and taxes paid and is a more comprehensive determination of periodic income on a cash basis, exclusive of non-cash items of income and expenses such as depreciation and amortization. In contrast, Adjusted EBITDA is derived from accrual basis income and is not reduced for cash invested in working capital. Consequently, Adjusted EBITDA is not affected by the timing of receivable collections or when accrued expenses are paid. We are not aware of any uniform standards for determining EBITDA or our Adjusted EBITDA and believe that our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA is probably calculated differently than presentations of EBITDA by other entities because our calculation was based upon the definition in a bank credit agreement.

     
    Crown Media Holdings, Inc.
    Unaudited Consolidated Income Statement Information
    (In thousands, except per share data)
     
      Three Months Ended December 31,   Years Ended December 31,
    2013   20122013   2012
    Revenue:
    Advertising $ 96,297 $ 82,045 $ 291,710 $ 268,252
    Advertising by Hallmark Cards 983 1,079 3,095 2,990
    Subscriber fees 20,545 19,053 81,818 78,005
    Other revenue   564   124   1,178   623
    Total revenue, net 118,389 102,301 377,801 349,870
    Cost of services:
    Non-affiliate programming 35,179 34,864 130,572 131,186
    Hallmark Cards affiliate programming 980 1,295 3,429 3,363
    Amortization of capital lease 290 290 1,158 1,158
    Other cost of services   3,442   3,375   13,990   12,546
    Total cost of services 39,891 39,824 149,149 148,253
    Selling, general and administrative expense 18,107 16,814 63,438 59,156
    Marketing expense 5,858 8,510 11,544 10,179
    Depreciation and amortization expense 481 408 1,850 1,477
    Gain on early extinguishment of liability   (121)   -   (121)   -
    Income from operations before interest and income tax expense
    54,173 36,745 151,941 130,805
    Interest expense   (10,293)   (11,401)   (42,577)   (46,056)
    Income from operations before income tax expense 43,880 25,344 109,364 84,749
    Income tax (expense) benefit   (17,218)   44,768   (41,649)   22,604
    Net income and comprehensive income $ 26,662 $ 70,112 $ 67,715 $ 107,353
    Net income per share - basic $ 0.07 $ 0.19 $ 0.19 $ 0.30
    Net income per share - diluted $ 0.07 $ 0.19 $ 0.19 $ 0.30
    Weighted average number of common shares outstanding 359,676 359,676 359,676 359,676
     
     
    Crown Media Holdings, Inc.
    Unaudited Consolidated Balance Sheets
    (In thousands, except share and per share data)
       
    As of December 31,   As of December 31,
    2013   2012
     
    ASSETS
     
    Cash and cash equivalents $ 63,750 $ 43,705
    Accounts receivable, less allowance for doubtful
    accounts of $834 and $245, respectively 104,613 92,062
    Programming rights 71,540 85,946
    Prepaid programming rights 26,839 13,820
    Deferred tax asset, net 39,100 34,200
    Prepaid and other assets   1,960     2,326
    Total current assets 307,802 272,059
    Programming rights 201,936 174,971
    Prepaid programming rights 9,805 13,748
    Property and equipment, net 9,799 10,455
    Deferred tax asset, net 181,164 225,149
    Debt issuance costs, net 10,047 10,421
    Other assets 3,644 3,826
    Goodwill   314,033     314,033
    Total assets $ 1,038,230   $ 1,024,662
     
    LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
     
    LIABILITIES
    Accounts payable and accrued liabilities $ 22,238 $ 25,801
    Audience deficiency reserve liability 4,888 5,679
    Programming rights payable 85,560 112,503
    Payables to Hallmark Cards affiliates 466 1,239
    Interest payable 14,455 14,468
    Current maturities of long-term debt   25,000     19,600
    Total current liabilities 152,607 179,290
    Accrued liabilities 13,838 15,852
    Programming rights payable 43,314 30,121
    Long-term debt, net of current maturities   429,330     468,040
    Total liabilities 639,089 693,303
     
    COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
    STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

     

     

    Class A common stock, $.01 par value; 500,000,000 shares

    authorized; 359,675,936 shares issued and outstanding as of

    both December 31, 2013 and 2012

    3,597 3,597
    Paid-in capital 2,062,818 2,062,751
    Accumulated deficit   (1,667,274)     (1,734,989)
    Total stockholders' equity   399,141     331,359
    Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 1,038,230   $ 1,024,662
     
     
    Crown Media Holdings, Inc.
    Selected Unaudited Financial Information
    (in thousands)
             
     
    Three Months Ended December 31,Years Ended December 31,
    2013   2012   2013   2012
     
    Net income $ 26,662 $ 70,112 $ 67,715 $ 107,353
    Gain on early extinguishment of liability (121) - (121) -
    Promotion and placement expense 262 297 1,050 1,191
    Depreciation and amortization 771 698 3,008 2,635
    Interest expense 10,293 11,401 42,577 46,056
    Income tax expense 17,218 (44,768) 41,649 (22,604)
    Long term incentive plan expense 990 692 3,658 2,804
    Restricted stock unit compensation   32     39     242     237
    Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
    and amortization $ 56,107   $ 38,471   $ 159,778   $ 137,672
     
    Programming and other amortization 36,638 36,555 135,821 129,345
    Provision for allowance for doubtful account 81 (17) 875 39
    Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
    Change to programming rights (38,633) (62,439) (146,560) (131,964)
    Change to prepaid programming rights 7,694 10,023 (9,076) (16,035)
    Change in programming rights payable (6,944) 22,254 (12,334) (1,033)
    Interest paid (1,832) (3,115) (40,414) (46,909)
    Amounts paid to Hallmark Cards
    under tax agreements - (11,740) - (22,338)
    Changes in other operating assets and
    liabilities, net of adjustments above   (29,905)     (19,497)     (30,512)     (18,097)
    Net cash provided by operating activities $ 23,206   $ 10,495   $ 57,578   $ 30,680
     
     
    Crown Media Holdings, Inc.
    Selected Unaudited Cash Flow Statement Information
    (in thousands)
     
      Three Months Ended December 31,   Years Ended December 31,
      2013     2012     2013     2012
       
    Net cash provided by operating activities $ 23,206 $ 10,495 $ 57,578 $ 30,680
    Net cash used in investing activities (109) (395) (1,511) (1,376)
    Net cash used in financing activities   (312)     (831)     (36,022)     (20,780)
    Net increase in cash and cash equivalents 22,785 9,269 20,045 8,524
    Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period   40,965     34,436     43,705     35,181
    Cash and cash equivalents, end of period $ 63,750   $ 43,705   $ 63,750   $ 43,705
     





    Investors and Press

    Crown Media Family Networks

    Annie Howell, 212-445-6690

    anniehowell@crownmedia.com

    Source: Crown Media Holdings, Inc.


  • For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel



    Source: Business Wire


    Story Tools