ACME Communications Affirms First Quarter 2003 Outlook
Company to Present at The A.G. Edwards Media and Entertainment Conference on April 7, 2003
SANTA ANA, Calif., April 7, 2003--ACME Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACME - News) announced today its participation in the A.G. Edwards 2003 Media and Entertainment Conference, being held April 7-9, 2003 at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Doug Gealy, President and Chief Operating Officer of ACME, will present at the conference on Monday, April 7th from 10:20 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. Pacific Time.
In conjunction with the presentation, ACME is affirming its first quarter 2003 guidance, originally issued in its fourth quarter 2003 earnings press release dated February 14, 2003. The guidance calls for first quarter 2003 net revenue to finish 30-35% (28-32% on a same station basis) above first quarter 2002 net revenue. Additionally, first quarter station operating expenses are expected to increase 22-24% (18-20% on a same station basis) over first quarter 2002 levels, resulting in a narrowing of the $1.0 million negative broadcast cash flow generated in the first quarter of 2002.
Commenting on the first quarter, Doug Gealy stated, "While our stations witnessed some weakening in advertising demand concurrent with the war in Iraq, we were still able to post significant revenue growth for the first quarter. This growth is all the more notable given that we posted a 13% same station gain in last year's first quarter, outperforming the industry. These strong results reflect ACME's limited exposure to news programming, and the continued ratings and market share momentum of our developing television station portfolio. Notwithstanding the impact of the war, we are optimistic that we can continue to post revenue growth well above the industry average in the current quarter. We will provide an outlook for the second quarter when we report our first quarter results in early May."
About ACME Communications, Inc.
ACME Communications, Inc. owns and operates nine television stations serving markets covering 3.7% of the nation's television households, making the Company the fourth largest affiliate group of The WB Television Network. The Company's stations are: KUWB-TV, Salt Lake City, UT; KWBQ-TV and KASY-TV, Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM; WBDT-TV, Dayton, OH; WBXX-TV, Knoxville, TN; WIWB-TV, Green Bay-Appleton, WI; WTVK-TV, Ft. Myers-Naples, FL; WBUI-TV, Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, IL and WBUW-TV, Madison, WI. All of the Company's stations, except KASY-TV, a UPN affiliate, are WB Network affiliates. ACME's shares are traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol: ACME.
Cautionary Statements for Purposes of the "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act:
The preceding comments on the Company's current expectations of operating results for the first quarter of 2003 are "forward looking" for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results of operations are subject to a number of risks and may differ materially from the current expectations discussed in this press release. See the Company's annual report on Form 10K for a further discussion of its operations.
Tom Allen, 714/245-9499
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Brainerd Communicators, Inc.
Chris Plunkett or Todd St. Onge, 212/986-6667