The Madison Square Garden's CEO Discusses F4Q12 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

August 24, 2012, 10:00 am ET

Executives

Ari Danes - VP, Investor Relations

Hank Ratner - President & CEO

Bob Pollichino - EVP & CFO

Mike Bair - President, MSG Media

Melissa Ormond - President, MSG Entertainment

Scott O'Neil - President, MSG Sports

Analysts

Bryan Goldberg - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Ryan Fiftal - Morgan Stanley

Vasily Korsakov - Susquehanna Financial

Ben Mogil - Stifel Nicolaus

Robert Routh - Phoenix Partners Group

John Tinker - Maxim Research Group

Brett Harriss - Gabelli & Company

Martin Pyykkonen - Wedge Partners

David Joyce - ISI Group

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Christie and I'll be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone for The Madison Square Garden Company Fiscal 2012 fourth quarter and year-end earnings conference call. All lines have been placed on-mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you.

I would now like to turn the call over to Ari Danes, Vice President of Investor Relations for The Madison Square Garden Company. Please go ahead, sir.

Ari Danes

Thanks, Christie. Good morning and welcome to The Madison Square Garden Company’s fiscal 2012 fourth quarter and year-end earnings conference call. Joining us this morning are members of the MSG management team, including Hank Ratner, President and CEO; Bob Pollichino, EVP and Chief Financial Officer; Mike Bair, President MSG Media; Melissa Ormond, President, MSG Entertainment and Scott O'Neil, President, MSG Sports.

Following the discussion of the company's financial results, we will open the call for questions. If you do not have a copy of today's earnings release, it is available on the Investor's section of our website at themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

Please take a note of the following: Today’s discussion may contain statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including financial community perceptions of the company and its business, operations, financial condition and the industry in which it operates and the factors described in the company’s filings Securities and Exchange Commission, including the sections entitled Risk Factors and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of financial condition and results of operations contained therein. The company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements that may be discussed during this call.

Let me point out that on page five of today's earnings release, we provided consolidated operations data and a reconciliation of adjusted operating cash flow or AOCF to operating income.

I would now like to introduce, Hank Ratner, President and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company.

Hank Ratner

Thank you, Ari. Our company delivered record adjusted operating cash flow for fiscal 2012, as we continue to benefit from the ongoing strength of our fully integrated Media, Entertainment and Sports business.

On a full-year basis, total company AOCF of approximately $283 million increased 36% versus the prior year driven by improved financial results in all three of our business segments. We delivered this level of AOCF for the year despite a shortened 66 game regular season for the New York Knicks, a prolonged affiliate dispute with Time Warner Cable and the off season shutdown of the Garden and The Theater at Madison Square Garden as part of the transformation project.

In our two and half year’s history as a public company, we have successfully executed against our business plan and meaningfully grown our business. And as we look out over the next several years, we have the opportunity to grow total company AOCF from fiscal 2012’s record level and continue to create long-term value for our shareholders. We will pursue this goal in fiscal 2013 by continuing to carefully balance near-term financial objectives with investing in our business to drive long-term growth.

With respect to our business segments; MSG Media AOCF increased 13% in fiscal 2012 as our Media segment continues to benefit from strong reoccurring affiliate revenue growth. Our regional sports networks are best in class and are benefiting from strong interest in the Knicks and the Rangers which we expect will continue for the 2012, 2013 regular seasons.

Fiscal 2013 will also be an exciting year for Fuse as the network prepares in the coming weeks to roll out its largest programming initiative to-date designed to increase viewership and drive revenue growth at Fuse.

The MSG Entertainment segment achieved positive AOCF on an annual basis for fiscal 2012 primarily driven by growth in the New York production of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and by our initiatives related to the productions outside of New York holiday season.

At the end of fiscal 2012, we completed our acquisition of the Forum in Inglewood, California which establishes a significant West Coast presence for our company and provides us with iconic venues in each of the country’s two largest entertainment markets. We carefully evaluated our acquisition of the Forum including its renovation needs and believe the iconic venue presents a unique opportunity for our company from both the strategic and financial perspective.

Looking ahead, we continue to expect that over the long term MSG Entertainment will be a meaningful positive contributor to total company AOCF on an annual basis. We look to achieve this goal by continuing to focus on increasing venue utilization and capitalizing on the enduring popularity of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular franchise. In addition, we are pursuing opportunities to create new productions and we will continue to evaluate opportunities as they arise to selectively expand our venues in major markets.

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