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Time Inc. Sees Best Quarterly Revenue Growth in 2 Years

Company still loses money, though not as much as media analysts anticipated

Time Inc. lost money in first-quarter 2016 — just not as much money as Wall Street thought the media company would lose.

Early Thursday morning, the company revealed an adjusted diluted loss per share of 11 cents. Media analysts compiled by Yahoo Finance thought it’d be three pennies more to the negative side. Unfortunately, this Q1’s losses were a nickel worse than last year’s 6-cent loss per share, but it wasn’t all bad news.

Back on the bright side, company revenue was predicted to come in at $675 million for the recent three-month period — Time Inc. rose $15 million above that benchmark, mostly thanks to acquisitions. The 1 percent year over year increase — the company’s best quarterly sales performance in two years — came in lieu of print declines. Digital helped offset the tough times at traditional media — what else is new?

“Our first quarter results reflect progress toward achieving revenue growth in 2016. We are seeing double digit growth of Digital advertising and other revenues driven by acquisitions and growth investments,” Time Inc. Chairman and CEO Joe Ripp said. “We are making progress to transform Time Inc. into a multi-platform, multimedia enterprise and we are infusing digital culture into our day-to-day operations.”

Operating loss of $3 million compared unfavorably to last year’s $5 million in actual income. The decrease was primarily driven by expenses associated with operations of acquired businesses, growth initiatives and transaction costs partially offset by higher revenues and the benefit of lower depreciation.

Time repurchased 4.05 million shares during the first quarter of 2016 and retired $35 million in debt. Management affirmed an outlook for consolidated revenue growth in 2016, which would be the first annual growth for the company in nearly five years.

This quarter, Time Inc. completed the acquisition of Viant, a company that specializes in data-driven, people-based marketing. The integration is on track and Time expects Viant to contribute over $100 million of revenue in 2016 alone.

Ripp said the acquisition of Viant “is enhancing the breadth and depth of our first party data” and will allow the company to “deliver advertisers’ messages to specific audience segments.”

Time Inc. is holding its newfront today, where it is sharing plans for a new OTT channel from People and Entertainment Weekly, as well as the Life brand extention in virtual reality.

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