SOURCE: Fisher Communications, Inc.

February 21, 2008 09:00 ET

Fisher Communications Announces Fourth Quarter 2007 and Year End Results: 2007 Revenues Up 4% Over Prior Year

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - February 21, 2008) - Fisher Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSCI) today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and annual periods ended December 31, 2007. The Company continued its trend of annual profitability and revenue growth.

The Company reported that for the year ended December 31, 2007, revenue increased 4% in comparison to 2006. Fourth quarter, revenue decreased only 1% over 2006, which was a strong political year.

Television revenue increased 3% for the year ended December 31, 2007, compared to 2006. The improvement was due to increases in national advertising revenue for both the English and Spanish-language television stations which were partially offset by the cyclical reductions in political advertising from the 2006 election year. For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2007, television revenue decreased 1% compared to the same quarter in 2006. The decrease from prior year was due to cyclical decreases in political advertising offset by strong increases in both national and local advertising.

Fisher Plaza revenue increased 20% for the full year 2007 and 3% in the fourth quarter, primarily as a result of increased average occupancy, rental rates and services fees compared to the same periods of 2006. Fisher Plaza occupancy was at 97% as of December 31, 2007.

Adjusted EBITDA totaled $26.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, as compared to $29.9 million in 2006. Operating Cash Flow, as defined by our debt agreements, totaled $31.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2007, as compared to $33.7 million in 2006.

Fisher Communications President and CEO Colleen Brown commented, "2007 was a strong year for Fisher, building off an improved year in 2006. In the past two years we have driven sales growth, ratings growth, and margin growth. We have diversified our network and geographic footprint, built duopolies in our existing markets, entered the Spanish-language television business, launched an Internet division, and significantly improved our debt to cash flow ratio, while continuing to improve the performance of the Company."

Fourth Quarter 2007 Highlights and Recent Developments

--  On January 1, 2008, the Company closed on the purchase of two
    television stations, KBAK-TV (CBS) and KBFX-CA (FOX), from Westwind
    Communications, LLC for $55 million in cash.  Both stations serve the
    Bakersfield, California television market, the nation's 125th largest
    television market.
    
--  In December 2007, the Company sold approximately 700,000 shares of
    Safeco Corporation common stock, which represented 23.3% of Fisher's total
    Safeco holdings.  The shares were sold at an average price of $58.05 per
    share. The proceeds were used to fund the Bakersfield acquisition.
    

Net Income from Continuing and Discontinued Operations

The Company reported net income of $31.4 million for fourth quarter 2007, compared to $16.9 million for fourth quarter 2006. In both years, fourth quarter net income was comprised of continuing and discontinued operations. In addition, fourth quarter 2007 net income included a gain from the sale of the Safeco stock of $26.2 million (net of tax). Fourth quarter 2007 income from continuing operations, excluding the gain from the sale of stock, was $5.1 million, compared to income from continuing operations for fourth quarter 2006 of $7.0 million. This decrease was due primarily to increased commission expense, compensation and payroll-related expenses.

Discontinued operations reflect the after-tax operating results attributable to the Company's small-market radio stations sold or held for sale. In the fourth quarter of 2006, the Company sold 18 of the 24 stations held for sale for $26.1 million. In the second quarter of 2007, the Company sold one of the remaining six radio stations held for sale for $3.0 million. Income from discontinued operations in fourth quarter 2007 was $19,000 compared to income from discontinued operations of $9.9 million in fourth quarter 2006, which included an after-tax gain on sale in the amount of $10.0 million.

For the full year 2007 net income was $31.9 million in comparison to 2006 net income of $16.8 million. Income from continuing operations for the full year ended December 31, 2007, excluding the after-tax gain from the sale of stock of $26.2 million, was $4.0 million, compared to income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2006 of $6.3 million. The decrease was due primarily to increased depreciation from digital implementation and expenses associated with our early stage Spanish-language affiliates and growing Internet business. Income from discontinued operations for the full year 2007 was $1.7 million, which includes an after-tax gain on sale of $1.5 million, compared to income from 2006 discontinued operations of $10.6 million, which includes an after-tax gain on sale in the amount of $10.0 million.

Fourth Quarter Conference Call

Fisher will hold a quarterly conference call today at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (4:00 p.m. Eastern) to announce its financial results for the three-month period and year ended December 31, 2007. A live audio webcast of the call will be accessible to the public on Fisher's Web site: www.fsci.com. A recording of the webcast will subsequently be archived on the site. The limited dial-in number for the conference call is 1-888-680-0865 and the access code is 52171401 (International callers should dial 617-213-4853).

Definitions and Disclosures Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Information

Adjusted EBITDA is calculated as income from operations plus depreciation, amortization of intangible assets and broadcast rights, and non-cash stock compensation expense, minus broadcast rights payments, and amortization of non-cash benefit resulting from the change in our national advertising representation firm.

Operating Cash Flow is defined by our debt agreements and is calculated as net income plus depreciation, amortization of intangible assets and broadcast rights, interest expense, provision for federal and state income taxes, dividends from equity investee, loss in operations of equity investee and non-cash stock compensation expense, minus income from discontinued operations net of income taxes, broadcast rights payments, amortization of non-cash benefit resulting from the change in our national advertising representation firm, and gain on the sale of marketable securities.

About Fisher Communications

Fisher Communications, Inc. is a Seattle-based communications company that owns and manages 13 full-power and eight low-power television stations and eight radio stations in the Western United States. The Company owns and operates Fisher Pathways, a satellite and fiber transmission provider; Fisher Plaza, a media, telecommunications, and data center facility located near downtown Seattle; and Pegasus News, an online start-up and hyper-local media pioneer based in Dallas. For more information about Fisher Communications, Inc., go to www.fsci.com.

Forward-looking Statement

This release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. A more detailed description of certain factors that could affect actual results include, but are not limited to, those discussed in Fisher Communications' most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q as filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. Fisher Communications undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

FISHER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

                                Twelve months ended    Three months ended
(in thousands, except per-share     December 31           December 31
 amounts) Unaudited               2007       2006       2007       2006
                                =========  =========  =========  =========
Revenue                         $ 160,424  $ 154,699  $  44,084  $  44,716
Costs and expenses
  Direct operating costs           56,174     52,793     14,254     13,800
  Selling, general and
   administrative expenses         60,280     53,975     16,995     13,836
  Amortization of program rights   18,686     18,646      1,882      2,228
  Depreciation and amortization    11,552     10,277      2,884      2,762
                                =========  =========  =========  =========
                                  146,692    135,691     36,015     32,626
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
Income from operations             13,732     19,008      8,069     12,090
Other income, net                  45,688      3,881     42,005      1,067
Interest expense                  (13,671)   (13,956)    (3,449)    (3,560)
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
Income from continuing
 operations before income taxes    45,749      8,933     46,625      9,597
Provision for federal and state
 income taxes                      15,542      2,677     15,248      2,562
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
Income from continuing
 operations                        30,207      6,256     31,377      7,035
Income from discontinued
 operations, net of income
 taxes                              1,667     10,580         19      9,905
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
Net income                      $  31,874  $  16,836  $  31,396  $  16,940
                                =========  =========  =========  =========

Income per share:
  From continuing operations    $    3.46  $    0.72  $    3.60  $    0.81
  From discontinued operations       0.19       1.21  $    0.00       1.13
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
  Net income per share          $    3.65  $    1.93  $    3.60  $    1.94
                                =========  =========  =========  =========

Income per share assuming
 dilution:
  From continuing operations    $    3.46  $    0.72  $    3.60  $    0.81
  From discontinued operations       0.19       1.21  $    0.00       1.13
                                ---------  ---------  ---------  ---------
  Net income per share assuming
   dilution                     $    3.65  $    1.93  $    3.60  $    1.94
                                =========  =========  =========  =========

Weighted average shares
 outstanding                        8,723      8,713      8,725      8,720

Weighted average shares
 outstanding assuming dilution      8,728      8,716      8,731      8,723





FISHER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS             December 31  December 31
(in thousands) Unaudited                              2007         2006
                                                  ============ ============
Assets
  Current assets                                  $     47,619 $     57,058
  Marketable securities, at market value               129,223      188,307
  Other assets                                         163,084      104,005
  Property, plant and equipment, net                   146,008      148,207
                                                  ------------ ------------
Total assets                                      $    485,934 $    497,577
                                                  ============ ============
Liabilities and stockholders' equity
  Current liabilities                             $     29,571 $     26,685
  Long-term debt                                       150,000      150,000
  Deferred income taxes                                 45,274       54,414
  Other liabilities                                     27,692       26,913
                                                  ------------ ------------
Total liabilities                                      252,537      258,012
                                                  ------------ ------------
  Stockholders' equity, other than accumulated
   other comprehensive income                          152,718      120,071
  Accumulated other comprehensive income, net of
   income taxes                                         80,679      119,494
                                                  ------------ ------------
Total stockholders' equity                             233,397      239,565
                                                  ------------ ------------
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity        $    485,934 $    497,577
                                                  ============ ============

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    S. Mae Fujita Numata
    Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary
    Fisher Communications, Inc.
    (206) 404-6776