KR Advertising Up in April

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By: E&P Staff

Knight Ridder reported Friday that newspaper advertising for the month of April grew 2% when compared to the same period last year. Retail was up 0.6%, national was down 4.3%, and classified increased 6.3%. Within the classified category, help wanted advanced 14.8%, real estate grew 14.3%, and auto declined 5.5%.

Year to date, newspaper advertising revenue is up 2.9%. Retail grew 2.3%, national increased 0.2%, and classified rose 4.8%.

By market for April, total advertising revenue in Miami was up 4.3%. Contra Costa grew 3.7%, and San Jose increased 2.3%. Philadelphia and Kansas City were “soft,” according to the release.

Circulation revenue was down 3% due to fewer copies sold and discounting.

Goldman Sachs’ Peter Appert issued a note today applauding April’s growth-considering March’s increase of 0.7%. However April’s comparisons were much easier suggesting the ad market is still choppy. “Although we are impressed with [Knight Ridder’s] aggressive efforts to manage costs and the company’s ongoing share repurchase program, these steps cannot offset the near-term earnings pressure associated with the current ad environment,” the note said.

Goldman trimmed its 2005 estimates to $4.00 from $4.04.

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