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Comscore, Inc., a trusted partner for planning, transacting, and evaluating media across platforms, reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

First Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights

  • Revenue for the first quarter was $90.3 million compared to $89.5 million in the prior-year quarter
  • Net loss of $36.4 million compared to a net loss of $13.2 million in the prior-year period; current period includes a $15.3 million non-cash charge related to the recapitalization transaction and prior year includes a $4.7 million non-cash impairment charge on certain property leases
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $5.6 million compared to $6.4 million in the prior-year quarter
  • Repayment of $217.0 million of debt and issuance of $204.0 million in convertible preferred stock

Recent Key Renewals, Partnerships and New Business Developments

  • Syndicated Digital – New agreements with Den of Geek, Atlas Obscura, Shinez, LATV, Pew Internet and others
  • National TV – Secured long-term renewals with NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS and new agreements with The Filipino Channel and Lightquest’s Victory Channel
  • Local TV – New agreements with Sun Broadcasting, Fort Myers Broadcasting, and several others. Renewed agreements with TVB, CoxReps, Katz Television, KDOC Los Angeles, Quincy Media, Sagamore Hill Broadcasting and Independence television
  • VOD – New agreement with DECAL
  • Expanded partnership with DISH Media and Sling
  • Received video viewability accreditation from Media Rating Council for integrated third-party measurement on Facebook and Instagram
  • Expanded Comscore’s cookieless audience targeting solution, Predictive Audiences, with new partnerships with AdSquare and Retargetly

image-Bill-Livek-CEO-and-Executive-Vice-Chairman-of-Comscore-mediabrief.jpgBill Livek, CEO and Executive Vice Chairman of Comscore, said, “Completing our investment this quarter with Charter, Qurate and Cerberus was a critical strategic step for Comscore.

“This transaction gave us access to expanded rights with our data sets and created additional momentum behind our efforts to shift the media and advertising industry to census-based measurement at a time that the industry needs Comscore more than ever.

“Combined with the financial flexibility and liquidity created by the transaction, we are now positioned to reestablish revenue growth across our business. This quarter we saw improvement in many areas of our business, and with movie theaters beginning to reopen, we expect to see a healthy rebound over the coming quarters in that vertical.

“We signed new contracts and partnerships with industry leaders and are seeing customer excitement and momentum in many of our products. As a result, we remain confident in our ability to grow revenue as the year progresses,” Livek added.

First Quarter Summary Results

Revenue in the first quarter of 2021 was $90.3 million, up from $89.5 million in the year-ago quarter, with growth from increases in TV, cross-platform services, custom marketing solutions and Activation offset by lower movie and syndicated digital revenue. This marks the first quarterly year-over-year revenue increase since the fourth quarter of 2018.

Ratings and Planning revenue was $65.8 million in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $63.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase was the result of higher TV revenue and services related to our international cross platform offering, offset by syndicated digital and Validated Campaign Essentials products.

TV continued to experience higher revenue compared to the prior year from new partnerships and increased agency use, and from delivering TV data as part of an expanded relationship with an enterprise customer. We also recorded $2.4 million in revenue in the current period for certain cross platform services delivered in Europe related to the renewal of a multi-year agreement.

Syndicated digital revenue was lower compared to the first quarter of 2020 primarily from reductions in our international business, while Validated Campaign Essentials experienced lower volumes in the current quarter compared to the prior year.

Analytics and Optimization revenue was $17.7 million in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $15.5 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase related to higher deliveries of custom solutions and Activation, which experienced double-digit year-over-year growth as we continued to bring new solutions to market.

Movies Reporting and Analytics revenue was $6.8 million in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $10.5 million in the year-ago quarter, as revenue continued to be impacted by theater closures. While we expect theater closures to continue affecting Movies revenue in 2021, revenue should improve through the year as major theater chains reopen across the U.S. and abroad.

Expenses from cost of revenues, sales and marketing, research and development, and general and administrative were $95.4 million compared to $90.7 million in the year-ago quarter. The increase relates primarily to higher data costs and stock-based compensation expense, as well as the fulfillment cost of the multi-year European contract renewal discussed above. These increases were offset by lower facility costs, professional fees and other general operating expenses.

Net loss for the first quarter of 2021 was $36.4 million compared to a net loss of $13.2 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Included in net loss for the first quarter of 2021 was a $15.3 million non-cash charge we took upon closing of the transaction composed of (i) $9.6 million related to the extinguishment of debt and associated derivatives and the issuance of 3.15 million conversion shares to affiliates of Starboard Value LP, and (ii) $5.7 million related to a change in fair value from the antidilution adjustment to our Series A warrant exercise price.

Included in net loss for the first quarter of 2020 was a $4.7 million non-cash impairment charge on certain property leases. Loss per share attributable to common shares was $(0.49), compared to a loss per share attributable to common shares of $(0.19) in the year-ago quarter.

For the first quarter of 2021, non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA was $5.6 million, compared to $6.4 million in the year-ago quarter. The decrease in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the prior-year quarter relates primarily to higher data costs associated with our new commercial agreements.

Adjusted EBITDA excludes stock-based compensation expense, impairment charges, change in fair value of financing derivatives and warrants liability, debt extinguishment costs, and other items as presented in the accompanying tables.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

As of March 31, 2021, cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash totaled $33.9 million, including $4.8 million in restricted cash. Total debt principal as of March 31, 2021 was $3.8 million. On May 5, 2021, we entered into a $25.0 million revolving credit facility to provide additional liquidity and financial flexibility.