Sinclair Broadcast Group continues to work with Tribune Media Co. to obtain approval for its controversial $ 3.9 billion merger, despite breaking a potential deal-ending blockade with federal agencies last month.
While announcing better-than-expected quarterly results Wednesday, equities send nearly 5 percent in morning trade, Hunt Valley-based broadcaster said, it's in talks with Chicago-based Tribune over the next steps in Sinclair's proposed acquisition of rival TV Sender owner.
"With the acquisition of the Tribune Media Company, we are jointly analyzing approaches to the regulatory process that are in the best interests of our companies, employees and shareholders," said Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair, in a statement.
Sinclair had said that it was "shocked" last month after Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, had unexpectedly voiced concerns about the de-government and sent it for review by an agency administrative law judge, a Movement that could delay the deal at least and in the past meant the end of such mergers.
During a morning conference call with analysts, Ripley said the company I would not offer an update on the proposed acquisition of Tribune, but "we expect this in the near future."
He also said that the broadcasting television industry is expected to be a major beneficiary of this year's midterm elections, which he said "by Many expect to have the most issues in US history. "
Ripley's comments came when Sinclair reported financial results for the second quarter, which ended June 30. Sinclair reported revenues of $ 28 million, or 27 cents a share, compared to revenues of $ 44.6 million, or 43 cents a share, in the second quarter of last year. Revenue for the last quarter includes fees of $ 39 million for financing commitments for the acquisition of Tribune.
Sales increased nearly 12 percent to $ 730.1 million from $ 652.2 million in the second quarter of the prior year.
Earnings outperformed Wall Street Analysts forecast 2 cents a share, while sales surpassed analyst estimates of $ 715.5 million
At noon, Sinclair's shares rose 4.4 percent to $ 27.15.
"Second quarter results were well above forecasts in all key financials and we expect the second half of the year to continue to be robust, also due to strong spending on political advertising.
Second Quarter Political Revenue Reached $ 28 Million In a non-election year, it had earned $ 5 million a year ago.
Sinclair's proposal to buy Tribune appeared shortly after Although it took longer than expected under a fiscal FCC that had eased what some broadcasters considered antiquated television ownership rules, it had taken longer than expected
For months, the opposition had called for a stop for a merger, Sinclair's place consolidate the nation's largest broadcaster and give it an even larger platform for air-conservative views.  Pai, a nominee of President Donald J. Trump, who was friendly to Sinclair and such a merger, said "serious concerns" last month about whether the deal would serve the public interest.
Sinclair's acquisition of Tribune, as originally announced in May 2017, would give Sinclair control over 233 television stations, including 42 Tribune-owned stations and a presence in such top markets as New York and Chicago. According to this proposal, Sinclair broadcasters would reach 72 percent of US television households. (Tribune Media was formerly part of the Tribune Co., which once owned The Baltimore Sun and other newspapers, but split in 2014.)
Sinclair had suggested closing 23 stations, including 14, to under the National TV Property Restriction In the possession of Tribune and nine own.
While Sinclair executives did not answer questions about Tribune at the analysts' conference on Wednesday, Ripley answered questions about how the uncertainty could affect the company's appetite for acquisitions, especially since Disney looks like this as part of its 71- 21st Century Fox Cable Regional Sports Networks to Sell Billions of Dollars Contract
"Our appetite for further acquisitions has not changed due to the current status of the Tribune deal," said Ripley. "We will seek the scale within the broadcast industry."
Ripley described some of the regional sports cable networks as "interesting" and "well suited to the broadcast footprint and operation. [But] It must be for the right value and deal."
Asked possible mergers and acquisitions, if the tribune business fails, Ripley said the regulatory environment is "very favorable", especially with the UHF rebate called, which allows broadcasters to broadcast on these higher-frequency frequencies, only half of their viewers against to count a national limit.