Is Entercom Communications Corp. finally on the upswing?
The Bala Cynwyd-based firm -- which owns six radio stations in the Philadelphia market, among them all-news KYW and all-sports WIP -- reported 3 percent revenue gains in the first quarter and a small profit.
CEO David Field said that the local advertising market for radio remains weak but that national advertisers have boosted radio budgets. The best first-quarter markets were New York, Houston, Atlanta, Denver, Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
Entercom, the nation’s No. 2 radio group, is seeking to diversify its revenues base through podcasting, the radio.com digital app, and a national network that stitches together more than 200 Entercom-owned radio stations. About 45 percent of Entercom’s advertising revenue is generated through news, sports or talk stations.
Legalized sports gambling is a big potential growth opportunity for all-sports radio station advertising and eventually could bring in an additional $100 million a year in new advertising, Field said.
Eight states have approved sports wagering and 30 states are looking at legalizing sport wagering, according to an analyst on the Entercom conference call on Tuesday.
Entercom’s battered stock closed up 1.78 percent, or $0.12 cents, to $6.88 a share. It is up from $5.24 on March 28. But the company’s stock has not fully recovered from the company’s decision in 2017 to acquire the CBS Radio empire, which included Philadelphia stations.
“We have a strong conviction that our stock is undervalued,” Field said in response to an analyst’s question.
Entercom executives estimated that they would have more than 4 percent revenue growth in the second quarter, with about 80 percent of this advertising booked.
Field said that “we believe we are on track for a strong year of growth.”