Audacy Stock Hits All-Time Low Amid Disappointing Financials, Layoffs

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Following slow revenue growth for Q2 2022, Audacy has started layoffs after disappointing financials.

The Philadelphia-based company is expected to make job cuts that will impact all divisions and geographic markets. According to one report, the layoffs will impact less than 5% of Audacy’s workforce, with no more layoffs expected this year. The company has more than 5,000 employees spread across the United States.

“We remain committed to this exciting transformation which has made us a much stronger organization, but in light of current macroeconomic headwinds, like so many other companies, we have been proactively taking actions to mitigate against the impact of any downturn,” an Audacy spokesperson told the Philadelphia Business Journal. “These include evaluating budgets, reducing expenses, and also reducing our workforce.”

According to Radio Insight, on-air personalities from Dallas and Baltimore have confirmed they’ve been let go. Audacy is looking to cut expenses by “working to enact substantial sustainable savings through a number of measures to improve margins and profitability across the business. We believe we will be able to deliver meaningful cost reductions without hindering our strategic priorities and growth plans.”

Chief Financial Officer Rich Schmaeling told analysts that expenses for Q1 were up 8% YoY and up 6% in Q2. He says Audacy expects Q3 expenses to be up 1-2% and calls that substantial progress. “We are working on a program to meaningfully reduce our expenses and we will provide further details about the scope and extent of those actions on our Q3 call,” Schmaeling told investors.

Audacy attributes the stumble to deteriorating macroeconomic conditions and increasing uncertainty. Q2 revenue grew 5%, below what was expected within guidance. Adjusted EBITDA declined slightly from $39.9M to $38.5M. Audacy lost $11.8M in H1 2022, compared to losing $20.2M during H1 2021. Audacy’s top advertising category is automotive, and spending in that category is down 40% from 2019 (before the pandemic).

“The twin punches of the pandemic and now the economic slowdown over the past two plus years have definitely adversely impacted our business,” says CEO David Field. “But it’s essential to distinguish between the adverse impact of the pandemic and slowdown on our business and Audacy’s fundamental strength and earnings potential going forward.”

These layoffs are the first to impact Audacy since 2020, when the company went through two rounds of layoffs in response to the pandemic. They also come at a time when the company has received notice from the New York Stock Exchange that its stock is not in compliance with the minimum average closing price of $1 per share over 30 consecutive trading days. The stock was last above $1 on July 5.