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Score Media's financials unappealing to buyers

File photo of John Levy, chairman and CEO of Score Media.

Tibor Kolley/Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail

No matter how great its marketing pitch is, Score Media's going to have trouble finding a buyer until it can generate a massive uptick in earnings.

Last fall, the Globe reported that the company was making a big push to find a buyer, and the word is that management is still pursuing a sale. That makes sense - the company has more or less been on the market for years.

But while the company can show off stats that prove it is seeing explosive growth in things like mobile app users, what really matters to any buyer is the bottom line, and that isn't such a rosy picture for Score.

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In the third quarter -- for which results were released today -- earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were just $0.5-million. The quarter prior, they were a mere $40,000. Score has long explained that these are blips because it is spending heavily to ramp up its digital operations, but as the Globe's media reporter pointed out today, spending here won't help much if they can't monetize the digital growth.

Plus, if you look at revenues, which obviously don't factor in costs, they aren't shooting higher. Revenues last quarter, typically the company's strongest, fell to $12.7-million from $13.1-million in the same quarter last year.

Score was always going to be a tough sell even before it started spending big on its digital department. The $200-million asking price it floated to the market last fall was a massive 26 times fiscal 2011's EBITDA. And now that operating profits are taking a big hit, even a lower price is a much harder sell.

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About the Author
Reporter and Streetwise columnist

Tim Kiladze is a business reporter with The Globe and Mail. Before crossing over to journalism, he worked in equity capital markets at National Bank Financial and in fixed-income sales and trading at RBC Dominion Securities. Tim graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and also earned a Bachelor in Commerce in finance from McGill University. More


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