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What: Shares of Central European Media Enterprises (NASDAQ:CETV) were falling hard today, down as much as 57%, after the company turned in a poor earnings report, and said it needed additional financing to stay afloat.
So what: The diversified media operator said revenue slipped 3% to $135.8 million, while operating income fell to negative $45 million, from -$18.4 million the year before. On a per-share basis, the company lost $0.16. Recently appointed co-CEO Michael Del Nin said, "[co-CEO] Christoph [Mainusch] and I find this level of performance unacceptable," and said that they plan to make quick improvements. The two CEOs also lowered the full-year forecast to revenue of $640 million to $650 million, and OIBDA of negative $40 million to negative $30 million.
Now what: Most troubling to the market seemed to be the company's announcement that it would need new financing or other sources of cash to stem the effects of the negative free cash flow it's seen this year. At the end of the third quarter, the company had just $122.9 million in cash, with $946 million in debt, and free cash flow for the first nine months of the year was negative $77 million, in line with a year ago. The new CEOs were not specific, but this could be an appealing, though risky, contrarian play at this point. With a combined reach of 50 million people, and as the market leader in every country it serves, CME is not without its advantages. It's certainly worth keeping your eye on. You can add the company to your Watchlist by clicking right here.
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