MSG Scores 3Q Win as Profits Jump 16% on Sports, Media Growth

New York Knicks parent Madison Square Garden Co. (NYSE:MSG) beat the Street on Friday by logging a 16% jump in fiscal first-quarter profits that was driven by growth on the sports and media fronts.

MSG, which also owns the New York Rangers and Radio City Music Hall, said it earned $23.9 million, or 31 cents a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $20.6 million, or 26 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts had been calling for EPS of 22 cents.

Revenue increased 5.6% to $215.6 million, narrowly exceeding forecasts on Wall Street for $213 million.

MSG generated a 21% jump in sports revenue last quarter to $38.2 million amid higher suite rental fees, league distributions and other factors. The company recently unveiled the fully-renovated version of its namesake arena, which is the home of both the Rangers and the Knicks.

“Our customers are now experiencing all of the amenities provided as a result of this unprecedented project, which was designed to benefit everyone who walks through our doors,” MSG CEO Hank Ratner said in a statement.

The company’s media arm, which is centered around the MSG sports networks, grew revenue 4% to $166.6 million. Ad sales rose by $2.5 million.

The growth in the sports and media categories helped offset a 7% slump in first-quarter revenue at MSG’s entertainment arm. The drop was caused by lower event-related revenue at Radio City Music Hall and to a lesser extent at the Beacon Theatre.

Shares of New York-based MSG advanced 2.28% to $61.90 in premarket trading Friday morning. MSG has soared 36.5% year-to-date.