Nielsen's Q4 Earnings Miss Estimates, Revenues Beat

Nielsen Holdings plc (NLSNreported adjusted fourth-quarter 2018 net earnings of 51 cents per share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 54 cents. However, the figure was up 10.9% from the year-ago quarter.

Total revenues came in at $1.658 billion, decreasing 5.8% year over year. Also, the reported revenues decreased 3.5% on a constant-currency basis. However, the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.64 billion.

Starting from the fourth quarter of 2018, the company has reorganized into two new segments, namely Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect.

Global Media revenues during the fourth quarter were $869 million (52% of its total revenues), reflecting a decrease of 3.6% from the year-ago level or 2.9% on a constant-currency basis.

Global Connect revenues during the quarter were $789 million (48% of the total revenues), reflecting a decrease of 8.3% from the year-ago period or 4.2% on a constant-currency basis.

Operating Results

Watch business revenues were $881million (accounting for 53% of total fourth-quarter revenues), reflecting a decrease of 3.5% year over year or 2.8% on a constant-currency basis. Nevertheless, Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 0.8% from the prior-year quarter, driven by ongoing investments and continued client adoption. However, Marketing Effectiveness revenues decreased 23% year over year.

Buy business revenues were $777 million (47% of the total revenues), reflecting a decrease of 8.4% from the year-ago quarter or 4.4% on a constant-currency basis. Excluding foreign currency impact, revenues from the Developed market declined 7.1% on a constant-currency basis. Revenues from emerging markets were down 4.9% but increased 4% on a constant-currency basis, driven by continued demand for the company’s services to local clients, partially offset by continued pressure from multinationals.

Gross margin was 57.4%, down 90 basis points (bps) from the year-ago period.

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