Washington Post Co. Earned $60.6 Mil. in Q2

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(AP) The Washington Post Co. reported higher second-quarter earnings Thursday as revenues jumped in its educational business. Revenues were also higher in its newspaper, magazine, and cable TV groups.

For the three months ending June 29, the parent company of The Washington Post and Newsweek earned $60.6 million, or $6.32 per share. That compares to $51.1 million, or $5.34 per share, in the second-quarter of 2002.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been expecting $7.32.

Results include a charge for an early retirement program at the company’s flagship Washington Post newspaper, which had an after-tax impact of $1.3 million, or 14 cents per share.

An early retirement program at Newsweek had an after-tax impact of $1.6 million or 17 cents per share, while a write-down of certain investments had a $3.3 million or 14 cents per share after-tax impact.

Revenue soared 31% from a year ago at the company’s education division, which includes the Kaplan educational service. It totaled $195.6 million in the second-quarter of 2003.

The newspaper publishing division had 4% revenue growth, to $223.1 million. A 3% increase in print advertising revenue at The Washington Post came despite circulation declines of 1.9% for the daily editions and 1.1% on Sundays.

Magazine publishing revenue also climbed 3%, to $91.9 million, offsetting a 6% drop in ad revenues at Newsweek.

Revenue at the company’s cable division was $114.6 million, up 6%. But at the television broadcasting division, the $81.8 million in revenue was down 5% from a year ago. The Post Co. in part blamed commercial-free coverage of the Iraq war.

The company’s shares were off $2.53 at $691.50 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday afternoon.

Net income for the first six months of the year was $133.7 million or $13.91 per share, compared with $62.8 million or $6.51 per share in the same period a year ago.

Revenues for the six-month period rose 8% to $1.35 billion from $1.25 billion for the first six months of 2002.

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