Political ads boost Hearst-Argyle net

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Hearst-Argyle Television Inc. said Friday fourth-quarter earnings rose sharply with a boost from political advertising on its TV stations during the period.

Net income jumped to $44.1 million, or 46 cents per share, from $9.9 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.

The results surpassed expectations on Wall Street, where analysts looked for earnings of 42 cents per share on revenue of $225.5 million.

Revenue rose 22% to $234.4 million from $192 million a year ago. Political ad revenue surged sixfold to $49.6 million.

For the year, net income fell 1% to $98.7 million, or $1.06 per share, and revenue rose 11% to $785.4 million.
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