Morning Brief: Sunrise's Loss And Discovery Gains

Sunrise Senior Living reported a net loss of $68.7 million in the third quarter as it wrote down the value of some its abandoned development projects and expenses from its accounting restatements continued to weigh on its finances.

"This quarter was very difficult as we incurred a significant net loss," chief executive Mark Ordan said in a statement. "Our team has been fully committed to grinding down cash outflows by reducing overhead, slashing development-related spending and selling or repositioning assets unsuited to the combination of today's capital market environment and our financial condition."

Sunrise's loss of $68.7 million, or ($1.36) per share, compared to net income of $38.2 million (74 cents) in the third quarter of 2007. Revenues were $436.0 million for the third quarter of 2008 compared to $429.5 million for the third quarter of 2007.

Sunrise has been plagued by financial accounting errors that have been the subject of shareholder complaints, a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and litigation from a former executive. Those troubles have weighed on its earnings. The company has previously said it would consider a sale but those efforts have not come to fruition to date.

In July, the company named Ordan, the founder of Fresh Fields food markets, to succeed founding chief executive Paul J. Klaassen.

The McLean-based company, the largest senior living provider in the nation, said on Friday that it was seeking to raise cash by selling some land parcels and properties, refinancing some of its ventures and closing a bond offering for some of its non-profit development projects being developed by the company's subsidiary Greystone.

The company said it would have to refinance about $213.5 million worth of debt that it is carrying on its books.

In more earnings news, Discovery Communications, which owns the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, booked profit of $134 million in the third quarter, its first as an independent public company. The company brought in total revenue of $845 million in the third quarter.

And on Thursday, Radio One wrote down the value of its broadcasting licenses by $337.9 million, suspended retirement contributions and posted a third quarter loss of $266.1 million.

Aside from third quarter results, Gov. Martin O'Malley will reportedly announce an agreement Friday with six loan service companies to provide help to homeowners before they lose their properties, according to staff writer Ovetta Wiggins.

By Alejandro Lazo  |  November 7, 2008; 8:28 AM ET  | Category:  Discovery Communications , Economy Watch , Morning Brief
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