(AP) Media giant Tribune Co. said Tuesday it is expecting a strong finish to 2002 after seeing revenues climb in November and early December.
“Business continues to be strong in December, so we are ending 2002 on a positive note,” John W. Madigan, the company’s chairman and chief executive, said in a news release. “After a challenging start to the year, we expect to achieve record earnings per share in the fourth quarter and for the full year as well.”
In a four-week period that ended Nov. 24, Tribune reported revenues climbed 7% from $419 million for the period last year to $446 million this year. Year-to-date consolidated revenues are up 2% compared to last year. The company said revenues improved in a number of areas, including publishing, broadcasting, and entertainment, and the company’s Internet subsidiary, Tribune Interactive.
Tribune Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Don Grenesko said the company is comfortable with analysts’ consensus earnings estimate of 54 cents for the fourth quarter and $1.84 for all of 2002.
For next year, Grenesko estimates earnings per share will increase in the low-double digit range, in line with current analyst forecasts. Margins in both the publishing and television groups are also expected to continue to improve.
Tribune’s holdings include 24 TV stations, 12 daily newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
Tribune shares were up 65 cents at $45.69 in midmorning trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
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