AP News

MSG shares jump following strong 4Q results


NEW YORK (AP) — Madison Square Garden Inc.'s net income more than tripled in the fiscal fourth quarter as changes to the NBA schedule and the continuing renovations at Madison Square Garden boosted its sports revenue.

MSG shares were already trading at all-time highs and the stock jumped more than 10 percent in premarket trading Friday. MSG's net income was nearly twice what Wall Street expected, and its revenue topped analyst estimates by about $66 million.

The company said sports revenue improved because of an increase in New York Rangers home playoff games, the compressed NBA schedule, and the first phase of renovations at the Garden. Its media revenue also jumped.

Shares of Madison Square Garden climbed $4.25, or 10.6 percent, to $44.50 premarket. The stock reached an all-time high of $40.27 Thursday and closed at $40.25.

In the three months ended June 30, MSG said its net income rose to $28.6 million, or 37 cents per share. That's up from $8.5 million, or 11 cents per share, one year earlier. Its revenue rose 42 percent, to $332.9 million from $233.9 million.

Analysts were forecasting net income of 21 cents per share and $267.1 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

The company said its sports revenue rose 74 percent to $131.2 million. The Rangers played 11 home games during the latest National Hockey League playoffs, up from only two a year ago. There were also more Knicks games during the quarter. A lockout delayed the start of the NBA season by several months, and the league used a shortened schedule that meant there were more games during MSG's fiscal fourth quarter than there were a year earlier.

MSG said its media revenue grew 20 percent to $167 million on higher affiliation rates, which led to greater fees. Entertainment revenue increased to $50.8 million from $36 million as the company's New York venues hosted more events, leading to more money from suite rentals, sponsorship and signs.

The company owns the Knicks, Rangers, and the New York Liberty of the WNBA and Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League. It also runs the MSG television network and owns venues including the Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre and the Chicago Theatre.

In fiscal 2012 the company said its net income increased 34 percent, to $106.5 million, or $1.38 per share, from $79.6 million, or $1.03 per share. Revenue grew 8 percent, to $1.28 billion from $1.19 billion.


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