iHeartMedia, the nation’s largest holder of radio stations, is again warning investors of its longtime viability after incurring heavy losses in recent months. In a quarterly report filed to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, the San Antonio-based radio giant painted a grim picture of its finances, saying it lost $248.2 million in the third quarter and increased its overall debt by $200 million.
Those losses, incurred during the three-month period ended Sept. 30, were up sharply from a $35 million hit during the same period a year ago. Company debt increased from $20.4 billion as of June 30 to $20.6 billion now, and revenue dropped 1.9 percent to $1.54 billion in the quarter, from $1.57 billion a year ago.
The company also said it faces debt maturities totaling $308.5 million in 2018 and $8.4 billion in 2019.
iHeart said it is in “advanced negotiations with potential lenders to refinance” its debt, which is related to its 2008 purchase by private equity groups Bain Capital Partners LLC and THL Partners. The company said in its SEC filing that whether it is able to meet its financial obligations will depend on its ability to hit forecasted results, conserve cash, refinance its debts and its ability to “complete other liquidity-generating transactions.”
It added, as it has noted during other time periods, that “these actions are intended to mitigate those conditions which raise substantial doubt of the company’s ability to continue as a going concern for a period within 12 months following November 8, 2017.”
iHeart owns more than 850 radio stations, plus operates several mobile apps and sponsors major events such as the annual iHeartRadio Festival and the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina. The company recently announced it would swap several stations with Entercom Communications, as part of Entercom’s obligation to divest stations from certain markets in order to complete a just-approved merger with CBS Radio.
iHearMedia stock price has taken a tumble in the last few days, from a high of $1.33 on Nov. 6 to just .55 at opening bell on Friday. It has since rebounded to .81 in afternoon trading.