News

Cumulus Media (CMLS) – A Foggy View For 2024

Media and Entertainment
0 min read


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS) is an audio-first media company delivering premium content to over a quarter billion people every month — wherever and whenever they want it. Cumulus Media engages listeners with high-quality local programming through 406 owned-and-operated radio stations across 86 markets; delivers nationally-syndicated sports, news, talk, and entertainment programming from iconic brands including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, CNN, the AP, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and many other world-class partners across more than 9,500 affiliated stations through Westwood One, the largest audio network in America; and inspires listeners through the Cumulus Podcast Network, its rapidly growing network of original podcasts that are smart, entertaining and thought-provoking. Cumulus Media provides advertisers with personal connections, local impact and national reach through broadcast and on-demand digital, mobile, social, and voice-activated platforms, as well as integrated digital marketing services, powerful influencers, full-service audio solutions, industry-leading research and insights, and live event experiences. Cumulus Media is the only audio media company to provide marketers with local and national advertising performance guarantees. For more information visit www.cumulusmedia.com.

Michael Kupinski, Director of Research, Equity Research Analyst, Digital, Media & Technology , Noble Capital Markets, Inc.

Jacob Mutchler, Research Associate, Noble Capital Markets, Inc.

Refer to the full report for the price target, fundamental analysis, and rating.

Meets expectations. The company reported revenue of $221.3 million, which was in-line with our estimate of $220.6 million. Adj. EBITDA in the quarter was $22.8 million, beating our estimate of $20.5 million by 11.2%. Notably, digital revenues performed strongly in the quarter, growing 5.0% from the prior year period. 

Q1 off to a lackluster start. Management provided total company advertising pacings to be down low single digits in the first quarter. While this is a significant sequential improvement from the 11.9% decrease in Q4 (which reflected the absence of Political), it is lackluster. The first quarter does not benefit from Political advertising, but the lackluster, high margin core and Network advertising will take a toll on margins. As such, we are lowering our Q1 revenue and adj. EBITDA estimates. 


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*Analyst certification and important disclosures included in the full report. NOTE: investment decisions should not be based upon the content of this research summary. Proper due diligence is required before making any investment decision. 

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