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BET HOLDINGS, INC. REPORTS 2ND QUARTER EARNINGS PER SHARE INCREASE OF 19 PERCENT

WASHINGTON, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- BET Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BTV), parent company of the Black Entertainment Television (BET) cable network, today reported earnings per share of $.32 for the second quarter of its fiscal year ending July 31, 1996, compared with earnings per share of $.27 for the second quarter of its fiscal year ended July 31, 1995, an increases of 19 percent. For the six months ended January 31, 1996, earnings per share were $.61, compared with earnings per share of $.50 for the six months ended January 31, 1995, an increase of 22 percent.

Commenting on the quarter, Robert Johnson, President and CEO, stated: "This was a very good quarter for BET Holdings, Inc. in terms of both financial success and strategic accomplishments. In addition to continuing to produce and distribute quality programming and exciting specials, we made a number of announcements which will help advance our strategic objectives and position BET Holdings, Inc. for continued growth. We launched BET on Jazz: The Cable Jazz Channel, marking the extension of the BET brand into an attractive programming genre. We also announced a joint venture with Microsoft to develop and distribute on-line content for our core audience -- helping to ensure that black consumers will fully participate in the dawning information age. During the quarter, BET Holdings, Inc. was also recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the 'Best Small Companies in America' based on the Company's financial performance."

Operating income for the three and six months ended January 31, 1996 increased 14 percent, to $11 million, and 20 percent, to $22.1 million, respectively, as compared to the prior year comparable periods. Increased interest expense and reduced interest income resulting from the December 1995, $58.9 million repurchase of 3,036,600 shares of the Company's common stock contributed to increased net nonoperating expenses of $1.1 million and $1.8 million for the three and six months ended January 31, 1996, respectively, as compared to the prior year comparable periods. Net income of $5.8 million and $10.1 million for the three and six months ended January 31, 1996, increased 6 percent and 14 percent, respectively, reflecting the impact of the repurchased shares.

Quarterly and fiscal year-to-date increased operating income primarily resulted from operating income increases of 16 percent and 17 percent reported by BET for the three and six months ended January 31, 1996, respectively, as compared to the prior year comparable periods, and reduced quarterly and fiscal year-to-date operating losses reported by Action Pay-Per-View (Action) as compared to the prior year comparable periods. These gains were partially offset by $.5 million of operating losses incurred during the second quarter of fiscal year 1996 in connection with the January 15, 1996 launch of BET on Jazz: The Cable Jazz Channel (BET on Jazz), the Company's second basic cable network.

Revenue for the Entertainment Group, which operates BET, Action and BET on Jazz, increased 17 percent, to $31.4 million, and 19 percent, to $63 million, for the three and six months ended January 31, 1996, respectively, as compared to prior year comparable periods. Increased revenue primarily resulted from advertising and subscriber revenue gains generated by BET. BET's advertising revenues increased 21 percent, to $16 million, and 20 percent, to $32 million, for the three and six months ended January 31, 1996, respectively, as compared to the prior year comparable periods, because of substantial national spot and infomercial advertising rate growth. BET's subscriber revenues increased 16 percent, to $12.8 million, and 16 percent, to $25 million, for the three and six months ended January 31, 1996, respectively, as compared to the prior year comparable periods. These increases resulted from a $.0l per subscriber per month rate increase during calendar year 1995 and continued growth of BET's subscriber base. At January 31, 1996, BET's subscriber base was 39.8 million*, representing increases of 1.1 million (3 percent), and 3.8 million (10 percent), from October 31, 1995 and January 31, 1995, respectively.

Entertainment Group operating expenses increased 19 percent, to $19.4 million, and 19 percent, to $39.1 million, for the three and six months ended January 31, 1996, as compared to the prior year comparable periods. Increased operating expenses resulted, in part, from increased programming costs incurred by BET and BET on Jazz. Increased costs related to the Company's direct marketing subsidiary, BET Direct and costs related to renting the Company's new production facility also contributed to increased Entertainment Group operating expenses.

* Subscriber counts for BET Cable Network are based on reports to the Company from affiliated cable television system operators. Neilsen Home Video estimated BET Cable Network reached 44.2 million subscribers at January 31, 1996, as compared to 40.3 million subscribers at January 31, 1995, in its January 1996 Monthly Universe Estimate.
 BET HOLDINGS, INC.
 Condensed Consolidated Financial Information
 (Unaudited)
 RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 Three months ended Six months ended
 January 31, January 31,
 1996 1995 1996 1995


In thousands, except per share amounts

OPERATING REVENUES
 Advertising $16,942 $14,179 $33,610 $28,212
 Subscriber 15,380 13,396 29,927 26,328
 Other 606 646 2,141 1,003
 Total 32,926 28,221 65,678 55,543


OPERATING EXPENSES
 Production and programming 11,190 8,818 21,438 17,125
 Marketing 5,539 4,502 10,755 9,490
 General and administrative 3,350 3,450 7,616 7,223


Depreciation and amorti-
 zation of intangible 1,833 1,750 3,796 3,303
 Total 21,912 18,520 43,605 37,141
 INCOME FROM OPERATIONS 11,016 9,701 22,073 18,402
 Interest expense (1,185) (456) (2,097) (84l)


Other nonoperating income
 (expenses), net (21) 304 (185) 342
 Income before taxes 9,810 9,549 19,791 17,903
 Income tax provision (4,031) (4,090) (8,262) (7,827)
 NET INCOME $5,779 $5,459 $11,529 $10,076


PER COMMON SHARE
 Net Income $0.32 $0.27 $0.61 $0.50
 EBITDA** $0.71 $0.57 $1.37 $1.08


WEIGHTED AVERAGE SHARES
 OUTSTANDING 18,114 19,996 18,915 20,007
 FINANCIAL POSITION
 January 31, July 31,
 1996 1995


In thousands

ASSETS

Current assets
 Cash and marketable securities $18,479 $28,632
 Accounts receivable, net 26,833 21,789
 Other current assets 17,860 10,293
 Total 63,172 60,714
 Property and equipment, net 74,095 76,672
 Goodwill and other intangibles, net 14,312 14,627
 Other assets 6,446 5,797
 Total $158,025 $157,810


LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

Current liabilities
 Accounts payable and accrued expenses $9,665 $11,472
 Other current liabilities 10,266 8,895
 Total 19,931 20,367
 Long-term debt, less current maturities 78,937 33,987
 Other liabilities 9,146 6,772
 Total 108,014 61,126
 Shareholders' equity 50,011 96,684
 Total $158,025 $157,810
 BET HOLDINGS, INC.
 Segment Information
 (Unaudited)
 Three months ended Six months ended
 January 31, January 31,
 1996 1995 1996 1995


In thousands

REVENUES

Entertainment Group
 Advertising $16,022 $13,253 $31,987 $26,651


Subscriber
 BET Cable Network 12,788 11,029 24,962 21,466
 Pay-per-view 1,992 1,942 3,932 3,920
 Other 605 643 2,106 981
 Total 31,407 26,867 62,987 53,018


Publishing Group
 Advertising 920 926 1,623 1,561
 Subscriber 600 425 1,033 942
 Other 1 3 35 22
 Total 1,521 1,354 2,691 2,525
 Total revenues 32,928 28,221 65,678 55,543


OPERATING EXPENSES

Entertainment Group
 Production and programming 9,819 7,649 18,945 15,062
 Marketing 4,744 3,800 9,470 8,127
 General and administrative 3,110 3,197 7,105 6,610


Depreciation and amorti-
 zation of intangibles 1,732 1,656 3,595 3,126
 Total 19,405 16,302 39,115 32,925


Publishing Group
 Production and programming 1,371 1,169 2,493 2,063
 Marketing 795 702 1,285 1,363
 General and administrative 240 253 511 613


Depreciation and amorti-
 zation of intangibles 101 94 201 177
 Total 2,507 2,218 4,490 4,216
 Total operating expenses 21,912 18,520 43,605 37,141


INCOME (LOSS) FROM OPERATIONS
 Entertainment Group 12,002 10,565 23,872 20,093
 Publishing Group (986) (864) (1,799) (1,691)
 Total $11,016 $9,701 $22,073 $18,402


DEPRECIATION AND AMORTIZATION

Entertainment Group

Amortization of
 programming rights $800 $636 $1,523 $1,147


Depreciation and amorti-
 zation of intangibles 1,732 1,656 3,595 3,126


Publishing Group

Depreciation and amorti-
 zation of intangibles 101 94 201 177


Total depreciation and
 amortization $2,633 $2,386 $5,319 $4,450


EBITDA**
 Entertainment Group $13,734 $12,221 $27,467 $23,219
 Publishing Group (885) (770) (1,598) (1,514)
 Total $12,849 $11,451 $25,869 $21,705


**EBITDA represents income before income taxes, interest, other net operating expenses and depreciation and amortization of intangibles and is presented as a measure of the Company's ability to fund its operations. However, EBITDA should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, net income or cash flows from operating activities determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles or as a measure of the Company's profitability or liquidity.
 -0- 3/11/96


/NOTE TO EDITORS: The Company's earnings releases are available at no charge through PRNewswire's Company On-Call fax service and on PRNs Website. For a menu of the Company's earnings releases or to retrieve a specific earnings release, call (800) 758-5804, extension 092325, or http://www.prnews.com on the Internet/

/CONTACT: Lorinda Green of the Investor Relations Department of BET Holdings, Inc., 202-608-2294/

(BTV)

CO: BET Holdings, Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: ENT SU: ERN

WW-HH -- NYM008 -- 0633 03/11/96 09:08 EST
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