RECORD EARNINGS FOR LEE ENTERPRISES

By: Staff Reports

Gain Partially Fueled By TV Station Sales


(Mediaweek Online) Lee
Enterprises Inc. reported Friday that income from continuing
operations surged 37.1% to a record 48 cents per share in the
three months ended Dec. 31.

The Davenport, Iowa-based newspaper publisher said the gain was
fueled by investment income generated by proceeds from the sale
of its TV stations – along with solid operating performance.

Counting a $250.9 million after-tax gain on the sale of assets,
Lee posted net income of $271.9 million, or $6.19 a diluted
share, compared with $30.5 million, or 68 cents a diluted share,
a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter increased 9.1% to $118.6 million, versus
the quarter a year earlier. Earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation, and amortization increased 6.3% to $35.7 million,
and operating income increased 4.9% to $27.6 million.

Excluding the effects of acquisitions and dispositions,
advertising revenue increased 4.7%, including a 4.9% gain for
retail, a 35.2% lift for national, which accounts for less than
5% of total ad revenue, and a 1.1% uptick for classified, where
increases in the employment and real estate were partially offset
by declining auto ad spending. Online revenue grew 49.6%, while
circulation and commercial printing sales were flat. Total
revenue increased 3.6%.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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