E.W. Scripps 3Q profit declines

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CINCINNATI -- Newspaper publisher E.W. Scripps Co. said Tuesday its third-quarter profit fell 11 percent, depressed in part by charges related to TV stations that are being sold.

Net income slipped to $73.1 million, or 44 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30 compared to $82.2 million, or 50 cents per share, during the same period last year.

Quarterly revenue climbed 13 percent to $583.4 million from $515.3 million in the prior-year period.

This year's earnings results were hurt by a loss of $5.4 million for discontinued operations, which included a $4.9 million impairment charge on the intangible assets associated with five television stations being sold.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of 40 cents per share. Scripps' shares rose $1.08 or 2.2 percent to $50.19 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company sold the Shop At Home television network in June and announced in September that it had reached an agreement to sell its five Shop At Home-affiliated TV stations for $170 million. That deal is expected to be completed during the first half of 2007.

Revenue from the company's Scripps Networks increased 19 percent to $249 million. Sales from newspapers managed solely by Scripps rose 1 percent to $168 million.

The company said it expects fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations in a range of 67 cents per share to 71 cents per share. Analysts polled by Thomson were forecasting 69 cents per share.

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