Belo Earnings Down Slightly

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(AP) Belo Corp., the Dallas-based television and newspaper company, said Friday it earned $39.4 million in the second quarter, down from $40.5 million in the same period a year ago.

Earnings per share dropped to 34 cents, compared with 36 cents in the second quarter last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast earnings of 33 cents per share.

Robert W. Decherd, Belo’s chairman, president, and CEO, attributed the better-than-expected results to the company reducing expenses.

“The company achieved growth in revenue and earnings from operations in the second quarter, despite generally uneven economic and advertising conditions and the absence of significant political spending as compared to the prior year,” Decherd said. “As the third quarter gets underway, we believe there is a glimmer of optimism in the marketplace overall.”

Revenues jumped to $369.5 million, up from $366.3 million in the second quarter of 2002.

Belo shares were up 31 cents, or 1.4%, to $22.25 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Belo owns 19 TV stations and four daily newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News. It also owns numerous Web sites.

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