Astral Media Q3 profit up but misses analyst estimates by two cents a share

MONTREAL – Astral Media Inc.’s third-quarter profit was up seven per cent from a year ago but missed analyst estimates as it recorded unusual expenses related to its pending takeover by BCE Inc. and revenue fell short of expectations.

The Montreal-based radio, television and outdoor advertising company (TSX: ACM.A) said its net income rose to $56.2 million or $1 per share.

That was two cents below a consensus estimate of $1.02 per share compiled by Thomson Reuters.

The quarter included $6.2 million of costs related to the BCE deal, although other costs related to Astral’s acquisitions were about $4 million lower than a year earlier.

Astral’s revenue was also below analyst estimates, part of a trend in quarterly financial reports issued Thursday by several other Canadian media companies that rely heavily on advertising sales.T

They said their performance was good considering the difficult market environment.

Astral reported $265.5 million in revenue for the three months ended May 31, down from $268 million a year earlier and nearly $13 million below the consensus estimate.

“I am pleased by the third quarter results announced today and by Astral’s ability to continue to achieve a strong performance in spite of the challenging advertising market in which we operate,” Ian Greenberg, Astral’s president and chief executive officer said in his announcement.

“Our relentless focus on maintaining our operational margins, commitment towards new product development and innovation, and optimal treasury management practices, enabled us to deliver another strong quarter of earnings growth.”

Astral shares dipped a penny to $49.06.