Nielsen Bumps Up Quarterly Cash Dividend on Q1 Profit Growth

TV ratings currency company satisfies Wall Street benchmarks to kick off fiscal 2016

Last Updated: April 20, 2016 @ 4:36 PM

TV ratings giant Nielsen revealed plans Wednesday to increase its quarterly cash dividend to 31 cents per share, an 11 percent bump.

The news was packaged with some pretty good first-quarter 2016 financials, as Nielsen’s 51 cents of profit distribution per share edged media analysts’ collective forecasts. The company nailed its provided revenue mark right on the rounded nose, reporting $1.487 billion in sales over the 90-day period.

Wall Street anticipated earnings per share (EPS) of 50 cents and $1.49 billion in revenue, per Yahoo Finance. Zacks figured EPS to come in three pennies lower. Actual net income was $101 million, with adjustments, it grew to $187 million. That latter number was up 8.1 percent versus the comparable three-month period in 2015.

So, we’re good, and Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns is happy. We’ll let him walk you through some of the particulars.

“Nielsen’s strong first quarter results were underpinned by our steady and resilient business model, which drove 5.2 percent constant currency revenue growth, continued margin expansion and strong earnings growth,” Barns began his prepared press release remarks. “Fueled by 10.0 percent growth in emerging markets and growing momentum with retailers globally, our Buy segment grew 4.3 percent on a constant currency basis. Our Watch segment grew 6.3 percent on a constant currency basis due to meaningful progress with our Total Audience Measurement framework and notable growth with our precision targeting and analytical solutions within Marketing Effectiveness.”

“As we look to the year ahead, our business will be driven by three key factors,” Barns continued. “One, we are leading industry discussions on the adoption of a new currency metric fueled by our Total Audience Measurement framework. Two, the value of audience segmentation and precision marketing is increasing and our unique set of analytic capabilities, bolstered by our recent launch of the Nielsen Marketing Cloud, position us well to provide clients with metrics to help improve performance. And three, we continue to make progress on our plans for a platform-based system that aligns and connects our wide array of measurement and analytics data for our fast-moving consumer goods clients.”

NLSN stock closed at $53.96 on Tuesday, up 70 cents per share or 1.31 percent.

Nielsen brass will hold a call for media analysts and journalists at 8 a.m. ET.