Believes it could take 10 years for industry to get back to its old revenue peak.
Hired 50 new sellers in last 6 weeks, and will hire 50 more before year end, all without negatively impacting cost of sales.
"We're of the belief that 2010 is going to be positive"...but will not make revenue projections...although he pointed out that some have talked about the industry being up anywhere from flattish, to being up as much as the low teens.
"Whatever the growth rate, we can expect to exceed that on the EBITDA line by a factor of 3x."
Adjusted EBITDA was down 16.8% exclusive of CFO's severance.
CMP (concentrates on top 10 markets) saw EBITDA decline only 8.2%, and is achieving the highest EBITDA margins in the whole radio industry.
Will exceed yoy revenue and EBITDA performance in Q4 2009 versus that reported in Q3, despite a tough political comparison (wrote $3.6 M in year ago political in Q4 '08).
Expect op. expenses down 15-20% in Q4.
I love the way he refers to "defending our cash flow." That's exactly the mentality I want my management to have.
From Interim CFO's comments:
FCF of $8.4 million vs $16.6 M year ago. Cap. ex. $700K in quarter and $1.9 M ytd.
$75 M in trailing 12 month EBITDA vs. trailing 12 month covenant requirement of $60 M.
Minimum cash availability covenant of $7.5 M. Had $19.8 M in cash at quarter end.
From the Q&A:
Cost cutting is NOT "ephemeral." Business model has been remade. Lot of "legacy costs" in business...have been eliminated, permanently...without sacrificing overall quality. Will "maintain cost profile" going forward.
Are budgeting positive revenues, "no doubt," for next year.
Ex. political, company is doing better in Oct. vs. September. (Had $1.3 M political in Q3 of last year, and $3.6 M in Q4 of last year. Off election year means CMLS will be down on political bigtime this year.)
40% of CMI's yoy decline was due to auto advertising. As auto sales come back, will be a big shot in the arm.
Expect revenue and EBITDA performance to be ahead of what we did in Q3, compared to its year ago quarter comparison. (A lower percentage decline than in Q3...despite the tough political comparisons.)
One time expense related to severance of $780K for old CFO and must also add back difference in political revenue from Q3 '09 vs. Q3 '08 to figure out "apples to apples" EBITDA comparison versus year ago.
Okay, correction of my previous post, per conference transcript at SeekAlpha, they paid that $7.3M debt recently in Oct, not Q3. They paid $1.85 in Q3 --
"We also touched on in October, we made $7.3 million excess cash flow payment to our lenders for the terms of the amendment. This was in addition to the $1.85 million principal payment we made during the quarter. We continue to deleverage the business going forward."
I didn't hear it very clear but I remember the new CFO mentioned something "deleverage" and said that they made $7.5M excess cash debt payment, in addition to the $7.5M payment every Q. So does that mean that they reduced debt by $15M?
I think according to the amendment of their covenant and credit (which let them have minimum liquidity), they have to pay down more debt if they have excess cash flow.