Why Gray Television, Inc. Shares Popped Today

By Markets Fool.com

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Image source: Gray Television.

What:Shares ofGray Television, Inc.(NYSE: GTN) were flying higher today after reporting record-setting second-quarter results today. The stock was up 11.3% as of 3:22 p.m. EDT.

So what:Revenue for the broadcasting company was up 37% to $196.6 million, topping estimates at $196.3 million, while earnings per share improved 41% to $0.24 but missed estimates by a penny. Organic revenue, or revenue that factors in historical revenues at acquired stations, was up 8%, with a 6% increase in net income. In addition, the company worked to reduce national sales commission expenses.

Thus far this year, the company has acquired 13 television stations, continuing its expansion strategy. The political season also provided a modest bump in revenue as political advertising was up more than 300% from a year ago to $9.6 million.

Now what:Looking ahead, the company guided at $223 million to $231 million in revenue for the current quarter, in line with estimates and representing a 48%-53% increase from a year ago, or a 22%-26% increase on an organic basis. Once again, the impact of political revenue is a key driver of revenue growth, but operating expenses are expected to remain flat from the current quarter, which could lead to profit doubling from the second-quarter mark.

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While this wasn't a blowout quarter for Gray, the stock seemed to get a bump as it had been trading near a 52-week low and had gotten cheap, trading at a P/E of 11 based on 2017 earnings.

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