True, the company delivered better-than-expected revenue and pro forma earnings for the fourth quarter, but that's not quite the whole story. Full-year revenue was up about 9%, and full-year adjusted operating income excluding depreciation was up almost 13%. Meanwhile, free cash flow was up less than 3%, and operating cash flow actually dropped.
TV is clearly Univision's driving force, and given that the company's core TV audiences climbed by high-teens to low-20s percentages across its three platforms (Univision, TeleFutura, and Galavision), it seems that the company isn't immediately capitalizing on all those new eyeballs.
To some extent, that may be beyond the company's control. Large U.S. companies are still fine-tuning their approach to advertising to Hispanic customers, and ad rates for Univision have not generally matched those for English-language media companies with similar audience demographics. But sooner or later, I think Univision will start closing that gap, and companies like McDonald's
Of course, we now know that the company is considering selling itself, which alters the picture. Companies like CBS
Whatever may or may not happen on the acquisition front, this should be a big year for Univision, given the upcoming World Cup. While I do have some concerns about current performance and management's execution, I remain very confident that this is a valuable asset. Fools should never buy a stock simply because they hope that a buyout is in the works, but I do think that management's willingness to consider the idea is a positive development.
For more Foolish thoughts with a Latin flair:
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).