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NHL's Return Drives Madison Square Garden to 2Q Earnings Beat

Rangers, MSG, New York Rangers, Madison Square Garden, sports, hockey, NHL


Sports and entertainment company Madison Square Garden (MSG) beat the Street on Friday with a 29% jump in quarterly profits that was fueled by the return of the National Hockey League to a full season.

Shares of the owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers rallied 3% on the fiscal second-quarter earnings beat.

MSG said it earned $60.5 million, or 77 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $49.6 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had called for EPS of 66 cents.The year-earlier period was hurt by the NHL's work stoppage.

Revenue soared 31% to $509.4 million, topping the Street’s view of $496 million.

“We benefited from the return to a full NHL regular season, the continued positive impact of the Transformation project and improvement in our entertainment business,” MSG CEO Hank Ratner said in a statement.

MSG said sports revenue surged 104% to $183.4 million, largely due to the Rangers playing a full season.

MSG reported a 15% increase media revenue to $180.7 million thanks to the full schedule of NHL games. The company’s MSG Network airs Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils games.

Entertainment revenue ticked up 8% last quarter to $163.1 million amid stronger revenue for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular franchise and stronger event sales at the Beacon Theatre and The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Shares of New York-based MSG rallied 3.31% to $60.50 ahead of Friday’s opening bell. The company’s shares have underperformed the broader markets over the past year, gaining just 8% through Thursday’s close.

Follow Matt Egan on Twitter @MattMEgan5