shares tumbled Monday on above-average volume after the television broadcaster swung to a third-quarter loss on declines in advertising revenue.
Gray Television said it had a net loss of $9.99 million, or 21 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, swinging from a year-ago profit of $1.48 million, or 3 cents a share. Total net revenue fell 20% from a year early to $66.4 million, due primarily to decreased local, national and political advertising revenue and decreased production and other revenue.
Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Gray Television said it expects local revenue, excluding political revenue, will increase from the year-ago quarter by approximately 1%, while national revenue, excluding political revenue, should decrease by approximately 9%.
"The current national economic recession has severely impacted our short-term revenue generation and has made revenue forecasting more difficult than in prior periods," the company said in its earnings release.
Shares of Gray Television were falling by 57 cents, or 27.4%, to $1.51. Earlier in the session, the stock touched an intraday low of $1.46. More than 733,000 shares changed hands by 10:45 a.m. EDT Monday, compared to the stock's three-month average daily volume of 1.3 million, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Gray Television has 48.61 million shares outstanding with a short interest float of only 0.1% as of Oct. 12, according to Yahoo! Finance. Insiders hold more than 23% of the company's shares, with another 43.1% owned by institutions.
Investors posting on Internet message boards argued that Gray Television shares are still worthwhile for long traders, saying that Monday's selloff was overdone. Some traders said they expect the big revenue decliners during the third quarter to rebound in 2010.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in New York
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