Wash. Post Co. Earnings Soar 21% in Q4, With 9% Ad-Revenue Jump at ‘WP’

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(AP) Fourth-quarter profits at The Washington Post Co. surged 21%, fueled by growth in all divisions, the media company said Friday.

For the three months ended Jan. 2, company earned $105.9 million, or $11.03 per share for the three months ending Jan. 2, compared with $87.5 million, or $9.15 per share, a year ago. Revenues were $902.7 million, up from $785.5 million in the same period last year.

The revenue surge came amid strong gains at the education and television broadcasting divisions, along with increases at the company’s cable television, newspaper, and magazine publishing divisions, the company said.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had forecast earnings of $11.22 per share on revenue of $889.7 million.

Print advertising revenue at the company’s flagship Washington Post newspaper rose 9% to $170.2 million for the quarter, primarily because of increased classified recruitment, preprints, and general advertising categories.

For fiscal 2004, the company posted earnings of $331.7 million after preferred dividends, or $34.59 per share, up from $240.1 million, or $25.12 per share, last year. Net income before preferred dividends was $332.7 million from $241.1 million the year before.

In trading Friday morning, Washington Post shares fell $10.49 to $916.01 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $830 to $999.50.

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