Looks "bad" for ROIAK, but I don't think it means a hill of beans. The FUTURE is what matters, and the guidance for pacings up mid single digits in Q1 2010 is what matters. Also, if for some crazy reason, this stock dropped to $2, I would have every reason to believe the board would reinitiate a buyback, and buy in another 5 million shares (if they could).
Lot of "noise" in the Q4 earnings figures. (Political advertising down from a year ago, expensing ALL of the bonus payments in Q4, instead of ratably over an entire year, etc.) Guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow's conference call to get more detailed info, in order to "model" 2010. I guess, for now, the station op. income number is a good guide. Disappointing, as is the increasing operating expenses, but the buyback of FIVE MILLION shares in Q4 is a wonderful offset, and a surefire validator, in my book, that they are eventually looking to take this thing private.
It's a tough call. They bought back in HALF the share base over the last 3 years. That's going to DOUBLE EPS from what it would otherwise be. If ad revenues are up 10% this year (with a HUGE effect on EPS), are you going to "wish" they had bought more debt back, instead of common shares?