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National CineMedia Lowers 4Q Ad Sales Estimate Due to “Heightened Economic Uncertainty”

The numbers look bad. Instead of seeing 2011 revenues grow 8% to 10%, the projection in August, National CineMedia now says that it could end the year anywhere from -5.8% to +1.8%. Estimates for the key cash flow figure — Adjusted OIBDA (operating income before depreciation and amortization) — are even worse: It now is expected to come in from -5.6% to -1.1% as opposed to the August projection of +6% to +11%.

Centennial, CO – October 13, 2011 – National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) (the Company), the managing member and owner of 48.7% of National CineMedia, LLC (NCM LLC), the operator of the largest digital in-theatre network in North America, today reaffirmed its third quarter outlook and lowered its fourth quarter and full year 2011 revenue and Adjusted OIBDA outlook. The prior outlook was provided on August 4, 2011.

The Company now expects full year 2011 revenue to be in the range of $425 million to $435 million, compared to the prior outlook of $460 million to $470 million and expects Adjusted OIBDA to be in the range of $210 million to $220 million, compared to the prior outlook of $236 million to $246 million.

“Our third quarter results are expected to fall within the original guidance provided on our second quarter conference call, reflecting an approximate 5% to 9% increase in Adjusted OIBDA over the third quarter of 2010, which had increased 43.6% over the third quarter of 2009. Despite this

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Top Seller Of Movie Ads Tells Wall Street Why 1Q Earnings Were So Disappointing

National CineMedia CEO Kurt Hall warned Wall Street analysts today that his movie ad business is in for more turbulence, even though theater owners expect to fill seats this summer and TV networks predict robust ad sales in their upfront market. For instance, Hall noted that Japanese auto and consumer electronics companies are among the biggest advertisers in theaters, but they don’t know whether there’ll be enough parts to meet production goals following the country’s earthquake and tsunami. ”They don’t want to spend a lot of money [on movie theater ads] if their products aren’t going to be in the stores or dealerships,” Hall says. And Hall said those high-testosterone Army National Guard recruitment ads are disappearing in movie theaters before the trailers. It’s due to budget cuts in Washington — and the National Guard doesn’t need to hunt for applicants in this anemic economy. ”A lot of people go into the military because they can’t find jobs in the private sector,” Hall noted. The No. 1 seller of movie theater ads reported a 1Q net loss of $1 million, down from a $1.2 million profit in the same period last year, on revenues of $59.1 million, down 12.8%. The lost advertisers are hard to replace. National CineMedia says it only has about 300 national clients. But Hall had some encouraging news for investors, although not necessarily for moviegoers: The company is starting to sell a lot of pre-movie ads to insurance companies.

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EXCLUSIVE DEADLINE LIST: Media Moguls With Pay Compensation NOT Out-Of-Whack

EXCLUSIVE: Media Moguls With Out-Of-Whack Pay Compensation

My previous post showed that a lot of media company bigwigs have pay that’s out of whack with the other 4 top executives whom the SEC requires these corps to list. Now I want to show the flip side — CEOs that don’t set off alarm bells with corporate governance experts. Top dogs like News Corp’s Chase Carey, Comcast/NBCUniversal’s Steve Burke, Cinemark’s Alan Stock, World Wrestling Entertainment’s Kevin Dunn, Dreamworks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen, Netflix’ Reed Hastings, AMC Entertainment’s Gerardo Lopez, Regal Entertainment Group’s, and National Cinemedia’s Kurt Hall make no more than 3 times as much as the average for the 4 other top executives whose compensation is listed in the annual proxy statement to shareholders.  Let’s be clear: We aren’t saying that the executives below are fairly or unfairly paid. But they work at companies where the boards of directors at least seem to recognize that multiple people deserve the credit for the company’s performance:

1. Microsoft: B. Kevin Turner. Here’s an indication of how technology companies differ from most media ones: Executives in tech don’t depend so much on annual compensation. They typically own a lot of stock and profit when it appreciates. So CEO Steve Ballmer, who owns nearly 4.8% of Microsoft’s shares, is the lowest paid top executive listed in Microsoft’s proxy, with $1.4 million in compensation for the fiscal year that ended in June.  Turner, the COO, … Read More »

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