Washington Post Co.’s 1Q Profit Up on Test Prep

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(AP) Washington Post Co. said Friday that its first-quarter profit rose 12% on growth in its Kaplan education unit.

The media and education services company said its quarterly income grew to $66.6 million, or $6.87 per share, from $59.4 million, or $6.15 per share, a year ago.

The company said that results for the current quarter included an after-tax non-operating gain of 56 cents per share from sales of non-operating land and marketable securities.

Revenue rose 10% to $833.9 million from $759 million last year, powered by a 26% increase in Kaplan’s revenue to $325.4 million from last year.

Kaplan’s growth was spurred by a strong performance in its higher education business, which includes post-secondary education businesses, including fixed-facility colleges as well as online post-secondary and career programs.

Newspaper publishing revenue rose 6% to $233 million from last year, driven by a 2% rise in print advertising revenue at The Washington Post to $145.7 million. Daily circulation at the Post fell 3.8% while Sunday circulation declined 3.1%.

Revenues from magazine publishing fell 17% and the division swung to a loss of $5.2 million from profits of $6.8 million a year ago due to a decline in ad pages at Newsweek and other factors.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected earnings per share of $7.24 on revenue of $830 million.

Washington Post shares fell $20.23 or 2.4% to $840.02 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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