Washington Post Co. Profit Slips 13 Percent

From the Associated Press

The Washington Post Co. reported a 13 percent drop in quarterly earnings today, as declining revenue from its flagship paper continued to cancel out gains in the company's education unit.

For the second quarter, the Washington-based company reported earnings of $68.6 million, or $7.19 per share, compared with $78.5 million, or $8.17 per share, in the year-ago quarter. See the company's news release.

The results included several one-time tax-related items that cumulatively resulted in a loss of 31 cents per share. Setting those aside, earnings of $7.50 per share still came in lower than the $8.33 per share estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.

Quarterly revenue rose 8 percent, from $969 million a year ago to $1.05 billion. That stemmed mostly from a 23 percent increase in revenue at the company's education division, which includes the Kaplan educational service. The education unit now accounts for about half of company revenues.

Newspaper publishing revenue fell 7 percent to $228 million. Print advertising at the Post fell 13 percent quarter-to-quarter, mirroring a nationwide trend caused by the decline in real-estate ads and the migration of advertising dollars to online sites. The nation's three largest newspaper chains all reported advertising drops in the quarter ranging from 8 to 11 percent.

Online revenue, driven mostly by advertising on the Post's Web site, increased 11 percent, compared with the year-ago quarter, but at $28.2 million it still accounts for only 12 percent of the newspaper unit's overall revenue.
Circulation continued to fall. For the first six months of the year circulation at the Post fell 3 percent, and as of July 1 it stood at 652,200 daily and 920,000 on Sunday.

The cable unit -- which operates under the Cable ONE brand in the Midwest, South and Pacific Northwest -- reported a 9 percent jump in second-quarter revenue, from $141 million to $154 million. The boost stemmed in part from the unit's entry into the telephone market. Magazine publishing, which includes Newsweek, reported a 13 percent drop in revenue, from $84 million to $73 million. Revenue at the company's television stations fell one percent, from $89 million to $88 million.

For the first six months of the year, income was down 14 percent, from $155 million to $133 million. Revenue rose 6 percent, from $1.92 billion to $2.03 billion.

By Mike Shepard  |  August 3, 2007; 11:16 AM ET
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Comments

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The WaPo is doing better than the NYT or LAT or other left-wing media outlets. But the slow erosion of print media continues apade.

Posted by: daveinboca | August 3, 2007 11:47 AM

The WaPo is doing better than the NYT or LAT or other left-wing media outlets. But the slow erosion of print media continues apade.

Posted by: daveinboca | August 3, 2007 11:47 AM

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