Tribune Media reports $320M loss for 2015 (due to impairment charge), will explore sale of assets
Company says it has brought on consultants to explore ‘every possible strategic and financial option with one clear goal: to unlock the value of our stock’
The broadcast division of what once was The Tribune Company, Tribune Media, today reported its full year 2015 earnings and said that the board had decided to “explore the full range of strategic and financial alternatives to enhance shareholder value” – that would mean possibly selling off assets.
“The Board of Directors and management remain focused on maximizing shareholder value,” Bruce Karsh, Chairman of the Board of Directors, said. “We believe that the value of the portfolio of businesses of Tribune Media is not fully reflected in the stock price and intend to explore ways to unlock value by reviewing strategic alternatives. At the same time, we remain committed to achieving strong operational performance across our businesses.”
The Company reported a net loss of $320 million and an operating loss of $263 million for full year 2015, though the loss was brought about by a non-cash impairment charge of $385 million, mostly due to the impairment of goodwill at the cable reporting unit.
Tribune Media is the broadcast company created by the spin off of broadcast and newspaper divisions at The Tribune Company, creating Tribune Media for broadcast units, and Tribune Publishing for newspapers. Tribune Publishing reports earnings on March 2. Tribune Media owns WGN America Cable Network and 42 local television stations.
“Tribune’s assets are valuable, powerful and performing well, as reflected in our full-year 2015 operating results,” said Peter Liguori, Tribune Media’s President and CEO. “However, it’s our belief that our current stock price does not reflect the full value of these assets. With the help of outside advisors, we have decided to initiate a process to explore every possible strategic and financial option with one clear goal: to unlock the value of our stock.”
Pretty much gone could be some of the company’s real estate assets such as the Tribune Tower in Chicago and the north block of the Los Angeles Times Square property in Los Angeles. The company also has a minority stake in the Food Network and in CareerBuilder, also possible sell off targets.
Tribune Media stock rose following the spin off, hitting $80 a share in June of last year, but has fallen since, reaching a low of just over $26 a share earlier this month. The stock has recovered a bit since then and opens Monday at $32.95 a share.