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Hersha and Sinclair up, Cumulus down in Q2 earnings

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The second quarter was a strong one for a Harrisburg-based hospitality company and Maryland-based media company with midstate television stations.

It wasn't so good for an Atlanta-based radio station operator with 11 midstate stations.

Hersha Hospitality Trust reported quarterly earnings Tuesday, while Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. and Cumulus Media Inc. reported today.

Hersha Hospitality Trust

Hersha, which closed on the purchase of a Florida hotel and opened two hotels in New York City during the second quarter, finished with net income applicable to common shareholders of $53.3 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $14.3 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago.

“Our portfolio delivered strong results in the second quarter that provides increased optimism with regard to our outlook for the remainder of the year,” said CEO Jay Shah.

The self-advised real estate investment trust, which focuses on upscale hotels in urban gateway markets with high barriers of entry, owned 47 hotels at the end of June compared to 41 last June. Revenue per available room, or RevPAR, increased 8.2 percent to $169.05 in the second quarter, while the average daily rate increased 4 percent to $195.15.

Hersha, which has offices in Philadelphia and New York City, trades its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol HT.

Sinclair Broadcasting

Fresh off its July 31 acquisition of Allbritton Communications — a $985 million deal — Sinclair reported net income of $41.3 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $17.8 million, or 19 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2013.

“We are excited to report better than expected second quarter results on stronger core advertising and digital interactive revenues, as well as lower television operating expenses,” said David Smith, president and CEO. “With the acquisition of Allbritton now complete, our focus will be on rationalizing and strengthening the portfolio, building upon our existing television station platform as it relates to investments in digital interactive and news content, and expanding our recently launched collegiate sports initiative.”

To secure regulatory approval for the Allbritton deal, Sinclair was forced to sell WHTM-TV (ABC27) in Harrisburg. It dealt the television station to Media General for $83.4 million.

Sinclair maintains ownership of WHP-TV (CBS21) and it will continue to operate WLYH-TV, the CW affiliate for the area.

Shares of the company are traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol SBGI.

Cumulus Media

Cumulus posted net income of $15.7 million, or 6 cents per diluted share, compared to $27.1 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, in the second quarter a year ago.

Net revenue was up to $328.2 million in the quarter compared to $270.3 million last year. However, operating expenses were nearly $270 million compared to a little less than $200 million last year.

The second largest owner and operator of AM and FM radio in the country, behind Clear Channel Communications, trades its shares on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol CMLS.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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