Scripps Warns On Q4 Earnings

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(AP) The E.W. Scripps Co. said Monday its fourth-quarter earnings could be as much as 10 cents a share below the company’s earlier expectations because newspaper advertising revenue has declined.

Scripps had previously forecast earnings of 55 cents to 65 cents per share. Management said it now expects earnings for the quarter that ends Dec. 31 will be between 45 cents and 55 cents a share, down from 69 cents a share in the last quarter of 2000.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call had been expecting earnings of 59 cents a share for the fourth quarter.

Company officials said this is due to lower-than-expected newspaper advertising revenue in October and a sluggish outlook for the remaining two months of the year.

At Scripps Networks, the company expects revenues to increase by nearly 10% in the fourth quarter, despite weak October results.

Scripps Networks includes the Home & Garden Television, the Food Network, and the Do It Yourself cable channels. The unit will add the Fine Living channel when it starts up in March 2002.

E.W. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast television stations, and the cable television networks.

The company also operates Scripps Howard News Service; United Media, which licenses and syndicates the “Peanuts” and “Dilbert” comic strips; and 31 Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com, and comics.com.

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