Nexstar reports Q4 EPS $7.97, may not compare to consensus $1.38
Reports Q4 revenue $653.7M, consensus $646.04M. The company commented, "Our expanded operating base generated approximately $469 million in 2017 free cash flow - and over $527 million before one-time expenses -- enabling us to invest in our broadcast and technology platform and in select accretive acquisitions, to reduce net debt by approximately $400 million and return over $154 million to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends. As a result, we ended the year with 46.0 million shares outstanding and a strong foundation for another record year in 2018. With the operating and financial growth momentum across our platform continuing in 2018, we expect Nexstar to benefit from several key factors including the Winter Olympics, Super Bowl on NBC, heavily contested mid-term elections, continued retransmission and digital revenue growth and the recurring free cash flow benefit to be derived, in future years, from the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As such, Nexstar expects to generate average annual free cash flow of slightly in excess of $600M for the 2018/2019 cycle, which reflects our assumptions for interest rate increases and the company's transition to nearly a full tax payer in 2018." Excluding the effect of the $322.2M income tax benefit related to re-measuring the net deferred tax liability, the company incurred income tax expense of $29.9M and $88.3M for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2017, respectively. During the fourth quarter of 2017, Nexstar recorded non-cash impairment charges of $20M related to goodwill and intangible assets of its digital businesses.