Regent was one of two major broadcasting companies to give its first quarter financial statement on Friday, and the news was not good. The company posted a $32.5 million loss for the first three months of the year, compared to a $3.0 million loss in the same period of 2008.
In a statement issued Friday, the company said that loss equates to about 81 cents per share. At the close of business Friday, Regent stock (NASDAQ: RGCI) was at 19 cents a share — a price the stock has reached only three other times since November.
Regent President/CEO Bill Stakelin blamed the losses on “the ongoing national recession which resulted in an industry-wide advertising slowdown.” But, he says the losses could have been worse, were it not for “our consistent ability to outperform both our industry and our portfolio of markets, as well as our efforts to reduce our operating costs.”
Locally, Regent owns a cluster of four stations in the Utica-Rome market, including country Big Frog 104 (WFRG), AC Lite 98.7 (WLZW), Oldiez 96 (WODZ) and Newsradio 950 WIBX.
Last month, the company proposed a reverse stock split, which could have a ratio as high as 30-to-1. If approved, the reverse split would boost the stock price immediately. That would allow RGCI to remain listed on the NASDAQ. The market first threatened to drop Regent last August, when it first started to slip below the required minimum trading price of $1.00.