McClatchy Earnings Up in 2Q

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(AP) Newspaper publisher The McClatchy Co. reported higher earnings for the second quarter Thursday as advertising continued to grow.

The publisher, whose newspapers include The Sacramento Bee, earned $43.4 million, or 94 cents per share, compared with $36.2 million, or 78 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The second-quarter earnings include income and proceeds from the sale of The Newspaper Network, a national ad sales and marketing business. McClatchy sold the subsidiary’s ad processing operations to The Associated Press, and the sales and marketing assets to Vertis, Inc.

Excluding the effects of the discontinued operations, McClatchy’s earnings were $37.5 million or 81 cents per share, a penny per share ahead of the earnings forecast by Wall Street analysts, according to Thomson First Call.

Total revenues rose 1.2% to $276.4 million, up from $271.5 million.

Advertising revenues from continuing operations rose 2.9% over the previous year to $229.5 million. Circulation revenues dropped 1.9%, to $41.3 million.

McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt said economic trends were varying by region, with California newspapers — The Sacramento Bee, The Modesto Bee, and The Fresno Bee — seeing a 10.8% increase in advertising revenues, while the Star Tribune of Minneapolis saw a 5% decline.

McClatchy’s other newspapers include The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., and the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska.

Pruitt also said the company did not make a bid to buy Freedom Communications, the Irvine, Calif.-based company that owns The Orange County Register.

McClatchy publishes 11 daily and 11 non-daily newspapers in California, Minnesota, the Carolinas, and the Pacific Northwest.

The company’s shares were off a penny at $58.21 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday afternoon.

For the first six months of the year, the company reported net earnings of $68.8 million or $1.48 per share, compared with $59.5 million or $1.29 per share in the same period a year earlier. Half-year revenues rose 2.5% to $534.3 million from $521.1 million.

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