Dow Jones Revises Outlook Downward

By: Lisa Singhania, AP Business Writer

(AP) Dow Jones & Co. indicated Monday that third-quarter earnings may be lower than expected because of continued weakness in advertising.

The media company, which owns The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and several other newspapers, said it expects earnings-per-share for the quarter ending Sept. 30 to be in the mid-to-upper single digits excluding special items. Advertising volume at the Journal is expected to decline 12%.

The company previously had said it expected earnings-per-share to be in the upper single digits and that advertising volume at the Journal would decline 8% to 12%.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call are expecting earnings of 9 cents per share from Dow Jones. A year ago, the company earned 20 cents per share in the third quarter.

In late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Dow Jones shares fell 11 cents to $43.19.

Also Monday, Dow Jones released advertising results for August. The company said ad volume at the Journal declined 14.8% compared with a 40.7% drop a year ago. Quarter-to-date, the newspaper is down 16% compared with a 35.4% decline a year ago. Year-to-date ad volume has fallen 22.1% compared with a 34.9% drop at the same point in 2001.

Advertising also declined at Barron’s in August. National advertising pages per issue fell 9.5% compared with a decline of 24% a year ago. Year-to-date, the weekly is down 15.3% per issue, compared with a drop of 28.6% a year ago.

At the Ottaway Newspapers group, which is owned by Dow Jones, total advertising volume fell 2.3% in August, compared with a 1.6% increase a year ago because of softness in classified advertising. Year-to-date, volume is off 2.1%, compared with a decline of 1.1% last year.

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