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Nielsen (NLSN) Q1 Earnings Lag Estimates, Revenues Up Y/Y

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Nielsen Holdings NLSN reported first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of 29 cents per share, which lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.4% but surged 81.3% year over year.

Total revenues were $863 million up 2.5% year over year and beat the consensus estimate by 2.4%. On a constant-currency (cc) basis, revenues increased 2.5% year over year.

Markedly, on Mar 5, Nielsen completed the divestiture of the Global Connect business for $2.4 billion in net proceeds, which resulted in a $542-million preliminary gain on sale, net of taxes.

Quarter Details

Audience Measurement revenues increased 2.8% year over year to $632 million. Outcomes/Connect revenues were $231 million, up 1.8% year over year.

Nielsen Holdings Plc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Nielsen Holdings Plc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Nielsen Holdings Plc Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Nielsen Holdings Plc price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Nielsen Holdings Plc Quote

Adjusted EBITDA was $388 million, up 19% year over year. Adjusted EBITDA margin expanded 620 basis points (bps) to 45%.

Nielsen’s selling, general and administrative expenses were $206 million, increasing 2% year over year.

Operating income was $253 million, up 43% year over year.

Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

As of Mar 31, 2021, cash and cash equivalent balance was $1.19 billion, up from $500 million on Dec 31, 2020.

Moreover, as of Mar 31, 2021, gross debt was $6.75 billion, resulting in net debt (gross debt less cash and cash equivalents) of $5.55 billion and a net debt leverage ratio of 3.77x.

2021 Guidance

For 2021, revenues are expected to increase in the range of 2-3%. Organic revenues are expected to increase in the range of 3.5-4.5%.

Adjusted EBITDA is anticipated in the range of $1.470-$1.490 billion. Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA margin is expected within 42.25-42.5%.

Further, adjusted earnings are expected between $1.47 and $1.58 per share.

Additionally, Nielsen expects free cash flow in the range of $595-$645 million.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Nielsen currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector include Synaptics SYNA, Agilent Technologies A and NVIDIA NVDA. All the three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Synaptics, Agilent and NVIDIA are set to report their earnings results on May 6, 20 and 26, respectively.

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NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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