Comscore Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results
Q4 Syndicated digital revenue stabilized on a sequential basis
Q4 Local TV revenue up 35% year-over-year
Comscore announces measurement agreement with Comcast
RESTON, Va., February 27, 2020 - Comscore, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOR), a trusted partner for planning, transacting, and evaluating media across platforms, today reported financial results for the quarter and full year ended December 31, 2019.
Fourth Quarter 2019 Financial Highlights
- Revenue for the fourth quarter was $95.2 million compared to $109.3 million in the prior-year quarter
- GAAP net loss of $21.4 million, or $(0.31) per share, compared to a net loss of $27.2 million, or $(0.46) per share in the year-ago quarter
- Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $5.5 million compared to $6.3 million in the prior-year quarter
Full-Year 2019 Financial Highlights
- Revenue for 2019 was $388.6 million compared to $419.5 million in 2018
- GAAP net loss of $339.0 million, or $(5.33) per share, which includes impairment charges of $241.6 million, compared to $159.3 million, or $(2.76) per share in 2018
- Adjusted EBITDA of $6.2 million compared to $16.4 million in 2018
- Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash of $66.8 million compared to $50.2 million as of December 31, 2018
Recent Key Renewals, Partnerships and New Business Developments
- Syndicated digital - Buzzfeed, iHeartMedia, Publishers Clearing House, Revolt Media and ViacomCBS
- National TV - The Cowboy Channel and TargetSmart
- Local TV - CBS Television, KRGV, Gray Television and Quincy Media
- Movies - Paramount Pictures and Cinemex
"Our fourth-quarter results demonstrate that our turnaround plan is working. We are encouraged by our operating performance, particularly in syndicated digital which showed improvement in the quarter, and local TV," said Bill Livek, CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of Comscore. "We will continue our focus on managing expenses while we shift our efforts towards revenue growth. Energy and enthusiasm from our customers accelerated in the last three months, and we are executing on our plan to deliver products that help our customers achieve better business outcomes."
"Today, we are also announcing a measurement agreement with Comcast that will greatly improve our direct measurement of television households across the U.S. It is a major step in our ongoing journey toward more precise measurement, helping us develop better products to serve our customers and drive revenue growth in the coming years," Livek concluded.
Fourth Quarter Summary Results
Total revenue in the fourth quarter of 2019 was $95.2 million, down from $109.3 million in the year-ago quarter.
Ratings and Planning revenue was $66.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to $74.8 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease compared to the same period in the prior year was the result of a decline in revenue from syndicated digital products and national TV. This was partially offset by local TV revenue, which increased 35% from the year-ago quarter.
Analytics and Optimization revenue was $17.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to $23.9 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease was related to lower digital custom marketing solution sales and Lift revenue compared to the prior-year period. This decrease was offset, in part, by higher revenue from Activation products.
Movies Reporting and Analytics revenue was $10.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, compared to $10.6 million in the year-ago quarter.
Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $21.4 million, or $(0.31) per share, compared to a net loss of $27.2 million, or $(0.46) per share reported in the year-ago quarter.
For the fourth quarter of 2019, non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA was $5.5 million, compared to $6.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EBITDA excludes stock-based compensation expense; impairment charges; settlement of certain litigation; investigation, litigation and audit-related expense; restructuring expense; change in fair value of financing derivatives, warrants liability and equity securities investment; and other items as presented in the accompanying tables.
Full-Year Summary Results
Total revenue for the full year of 2019 was $388.6 million compared to $419.5 million in 2018.
Ratings and Planning revenue was $271.6 million compared to $285.4 million in the prior year, primarily driven by a decrease in revenue from syndicated digital products and national TV products, partially offset by higher local TV and cross-platform revenue.
Analytics and Optimization revenue was $74.7 million compared to $92.4 million in the prior year, primarily driven by lower sales and deliveries of digital custom solutions, survey and Lift products in 2019. The decrease was offset by increased revenue from Activation products, which continued to experience year-over-year growth.
Movies Reporting and Analytics revenue was $42.3 million compared to $41.7 million in the prior year due to growth in new product revenue.
GAAP net loss for the full year 2019 was $339.0 million, or $(5.33) per share, compared to a net loss of $159.3 million or $(2.76) per share in 2018. In 2019, the company took non-cash impairment charges totaling $241.6 million relating to an intangible asset and goodwill.
For the full year 2019, the company generated $6.2 million of non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA compared to $16.4 million in 2018.
Balance Sheet and Liquidity
As of December 31, 2019, cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash totaled $66.8 million, including $20.2 million in restricted cash. Total cash increased from $58.5 million as of September 30, 2019 due to $12.7 million in net proceeds from the issuance of a collateralized term note during the fourth quarter. Total debt principal as of December 31, 2019, including $204.0 million of senior secured convertible notes, was $225.6 million.
Based on current trends and expectations, the company believes full-year 2020 revenue will be in the range of $390 million to $410 million, driven by growth in TV and addressable advertising, and a slower decline to stabilization in syndicated digital revenue. The company expects an adjusted EBITDA margin of 7% to 10% of revenue for the full year 2020, based on the impact of 2019 cost reductions and a continued focus on expenses.
The company does not provide GAAP net income (loss) on a forward-looking basis because it is unable to predict with reasonable certainty its future stock-based compensation expense, litigation and restructuring expense, fair value adjustments for financing derivatives and warrants, variable interest expense, and any unusual gains or losses without unreasonable effort. These items are uncertain, depend on various factors, and could be material to results computed in accordance with GAAP. For this reason, the company is unable without unreasonable effort to provide a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA or adjusted EBITDA margin to the most directly comparable GAAP measure, GAAP net income (loss), on a forward-looking basis.
Conference Call Information for Today, Thursday, February 27 at 5:00 p.m. ET
Management will provide commentary on the company's results in a conference call today at 5:00 p.m. ET. To access the call, dial +1 844-229-7593 (domestic) or +1 314-888-4258 (international) and reference conference ID # 3437876. Participants are advised to dial in at least 10 minutes prior to the call to register. Additionally, a live webcast of the conference call will be available on the Investor Relations section of the company's website at ir.comscore.com/events-presentations. Following the conference call, a replay will be available by dialing +1 855-859-2056 (domestic) or +1 404-537-3406 (international) with passcode # 3437876. The replay will also be available via webcast at ir.comscore.com/events-presentations.
Comscore (Nasdaq: SCOR) is a trusted partner for planning, transacting and evaluating media across platforms. With a data footprint that combines digital, linear TV, over-the-top and theatrical viewership intelligence with advanced audience insights, Comscore allows media buyers and sellers to quantify their multiscreen behavior and make business decisions with confidence. A proven leader in measuring digital and TV audiences and advertising at scale, Comscore is the industry's emerging, third-party source for reliable and comprehensive cross-platform measurement.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal and state securities laws, including, without limitation, Comscore's expectations, forecasts, plans and opinions regarding management's turnaround plan, improvement in the company's syndicated digital business, expense management, revenue growth, product development and delivery, the impact of the company's measurement agreement with Comcast, and 2020 revenue and adjusted EBITDA margin. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events to differ materially from expectations, including, but not limited to, Comscore's ability to achieve its expected strategic, financial and operational plans. For additional discussion of risk factors, please refer to Comscore's respective Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and other filings that Comscore makes from time to time with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), which are available on the SEC's website ( www.sec.gov).
Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date such statements are made. Comscore does not intend or undertake, and expressly disclaims, any duty or obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or new information after the date of this press release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To provide investors with additional information regarding our financial results, we are disclosing herein non-GAAP net income (loss), adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin and non-GAAP expense, which are non-GAAP financial measures used by our management to understand and evaluate our core operating performance and trends. We believe that these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful information to investors and others in understanding and evaluating our operating results, as they permit our investors to view our core business performance using the same metrics that management uses to evaluate our performance. Nevertheless, our use of these non-GAAP financial measures has limitations as an analytical tool, and investors should not consider these measures in isolation or as a substitute for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Instead, you should consider these measures alongside GAAP-based financial performance measures, net income (loss), various cash flow metrics, and our other GAAP financial results.
Set forth below are reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures. These reconciliations should be carefully evaluated.
Q4 and Full Year 2019 Earnings Report.pdf
Director, Investor Relations