CTC Media Inc. (CTCM:US), the Nasdaq-listed Russian television company, rose to the highest level in a month after reporting better-than-estimated first-quarter sales.
CTC, owner of Russia’s fifth-most watched television channel among viewers 4 years and older, rose 3 percent to $11.34 in New York, the highest closing price since April 3. The stock gained as much as 6.6 percent earlier today.
Moscow-based CTC said revenue increased 15 percent in the first quarter to $191.1 million, beating the $181 million median estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net income rose 43 percent in the first three months to $32.6 million, according to the company’s website.
“The company has reported very strong financial results in the first quarter -- higher than the market expected,” Vladimir Kuznetsov, analyst at UniCredit SpA in Moscow, said by phone. “CTC media has a Western-style strategy and is one of the friendliest companies in the country to minority shareholders.”
Russian advertising revenue, CTC Media’s main source of income, grew 14 percent in the first quarter in ruble terms, compared with the same period a year ago, according to the statement.
CTC Media’s advertising revenue is growing faster than the total Russian television ad market, which is estimated to have expanded about 10 percent in the first quarter from a year ago in ruble terms, Boris Podolsky, the company’s interim chief executive officer, said during a conference call with investors and analysts today.
The company’s television channels Domashniy and Peretz won the highest audience on record during the first quarter, at 3.7 percent and 2.6 percent respectively, CTC said in the statement. The company also operates a television channel in Kazakhstan. CTC Media broadcasts its programming in Israel and North America via satellite.
The average daily audience of CTC, the company’s biggest television channel and its biggest source of revenue, rose to 12.1 percent among viewers 14 to 44 years old in the first quarter, compared with 12 percent a year ago, according to the statement.
CTC Media paid $20.6 million in dividends in the first quarter and reiterated it will pay about $80 million in dividends for 2011 in equal quarterly portions in 2012, according to the statement. CTC will pay about $21 million in dividends, or 13 U.S. cents per share bought before June 1, 2011, in the next payment on June 20, the company said.
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