|TEGNA INC filed this Form 10-Q on 11/08/2018|
In the third quarter of 2018 Adjusted EBITDA margin was 36% without corporate expense or 34% with corporate expense. For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, Adjusted EBITDA margin was 35% without corporate or 32% with corporate. Our total Adjusted EBITDA increased $35.9 million or 25% in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 2017 and increased $45.7 million or 10% for the first nine months of 2018 from the prior year comparable period. The increase in the third quarter was primarily driven by the operational factors discussed above within the revenue and operating expense fluctuation explanation sections. Most notably, for the third quarter, the increase was primarily driven by an increase in political and subscription revenues offset by higher programming costs and investments in Premion. For the first nine months of 2018, the Adjusted EBITDA increase of $45.7 million is primarily due to the impact of political, Olympic, and Super Bowl advertising and subscription revenue, partially offset by higher programming costs and investments in Premion.
Free cash flow reconciliation
Our free cash flow, a non-GAAP liquidity measure, was $297.4 million for the first nine months of 2018 compared to $287.9 million for the same period in 2017. Our free cash flow for the first nine months of 2018 was higher than the first nine months of 2017 because of the same factors affecting cash flow from operating activities discussed in the ”Liquidity, Capital Resources and Cash Flows” section below.
Reconciliations from “Net cash flow from operating activities” to “Free cash flow” follow (in thousands):
Forward Looking Financial Information
Liquidity, Capital Resources and Cash Flows
Our cash generation capability and financial condition, together with our significant borrowing capacity under our revolving credit agreement, are more than sufficient to fund our capital expenditures, interest expense, dividends, share repurchases, investments in strategic initiatives and other operating requirements. Over the longer term, we expect to continue to fund debt maturities, acquisitions and investments through a combination of cash flows from operations, borrowings under our revolving credit agreement and funds raised in the capital markets.
On June 21, 2018, we amended our Amended and Restated Competitive Advance and Revolving Credit Agreement. Under the amended terms, the $1.51 billion of revolving credit commitments and letter of credit commitments have been extended until June 21, 2023. The amendment also extended our permitted total leverage ratio of 5.0x from June 21, 2018 through the end of the fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2019, reducing to 4.75x for the fiscal quarter ending September 30, 2019 through the end of the fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2020, and then reducing to 4.50x for the fiscal quarter ending September 30, 2020 and thereafter.
On February 15, 2018, we borrowed $220.0 million under the revolving credit facility primarily to finance the acquisition of KFMB. At the end of the third quarter of 2018, our total debt was $3.01 billion and cash and cash equivalents totaled $23.8 million.