Saga Communications is the latest radio company to report a double-digit revenue increase in the first quarter of 2022 as the advertising recovery gathers pace. The Ed Christian-led broadcaster recorded $25 million in billings in the first quarter, up 12% from $22.3 million a year earlier. Station operating expenses increased 8.7% to $20.6 million and operating profit nearly doubled to $1.7 million from $883,000 in the same quarter last year. last year.
Saga generated $1.9 million in free cash flow during the quarter, compared to $1.8 million for the same period last year. Net earnings were $1.2 million for the quarter compared to $758,000 for the first quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share were 20 cents versus 13 cents a year earlier.
In a press release ahead of its first-quarter earnings call with analysts and investors, Saga noted that it paid a quarterly dividend of 16 cents per share on April 8, for a total payout of $970,000. This was in addition to a quarterly dividend of 16 cents per share and a special dividend of 50 cents per share paid on January 14 for a payout of $4 million. To date, Saga has paid over $78 million in dividends to shareholders since the first special dividend was paid in 2012.
Saga ended the quarter with $55.2 million in cash and had $52.1 million in cash as of May 2.