McClatchy Reports Rise in 1Q Profits

By: (AP) The McClatchy Co., publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Sacramento Bee, said Thursday that its first-quarter profit rose 11.8% as cost controls helped earnings outpace its growth in sales.

The company earned $32.3 million, or 69 cents per share, in the period, up from $28.9 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue increased 3.2% to $280.9 million from $272.3 million. Advertising sales rose 4.1% to $233.9 million and circulation revenue fell 0.4% to $41.4 million. The company said Internet and direct mail advertising are growing rapidly.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for first-quarter earnings of 65 cents per share on sales of $282.5 million.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, McClatchy said advertising revenue growth will keep pace with the first quarter, but cautioned that the company is facing a difficult comparison to a strong year-ago period.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt said McClatchy intends to continue to focus on cost containment and plans to report earnings of 92 cents to 94 cents per share. The average analyst estimate hits the high end of that forecast at 94 cents per share. McClatchy earned 90 cents per share during the same period last year.

McClatchy publishes 12 daily and 18 non-daily newspapers in the West, the Carolinas and the Minneapolis area. Its papers also include The Fresno Bee and The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

In early morning trading Thursday, McClatchy shares gained 14 cents to $73.03 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $67.14 to $76.05.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here