Washington Post 2008 fourth quarter earnings fall 77 percent

February 26th, 2009 - 4:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb.26 (ANI): Washington Post Co. earnings fell 77 percent in the fourth quarter of last year compared with the same period in 2007, as large impairment charges drove down net income.

The Post Co. yesterday reported fourth-quarter net income of 18.8 million dollars (2.01 dollars per share) on revenue of 1.16 billion dollars, compared with net income of 82.9 million dollars (8.71 dollars per share) on revenue of 1.13 billion dollars in the fourth quarter of 2007.

The company’s newspaper division, which includes the flagship Washington Post, reported a 14.4 million dollar operating loss for the fourth quarter and a 192.7 million dollar operating loss for all of 2008, 41 percent of which came from the cost of early-retirement packages taken by 231 Post employees.

In the second quarter of 2008, the charge dragged The Post Co. into the red for the first time in its 37-year history as a publicly traded company.

The magazine division — largely Newsweek — reported a 10.9 million dollar operating profit for the fourth quarter but a 16.1 million dollar operating loss for 2008.

The biggest impact on Post Co. fourth-quarter earnings came from a 69.7 million dollar write-down of CourseAdvisor, a Web site where higher-education companies advertise, that was bought by The Post Co. in 2007 and whose revenue and operating income have failed to hit expectations.

The company also took a 65.8 million dollar write-down on the value of its community newspapers and Everett (Wash.) Herald, owing to their diminished advertising revenue and outlook.

If those charges are backed out of The Post Co.’s earnings, the company’s fourth-quarter 2008 earnings per share amount to 10.55 dollar, compared with 10.11 dollar in the same period of 2007.

For all of 2008, The Post Co. earned 65.7 million dollars on a revenue of 4.46 billion dollars, compared with 288.6 million dollars in net income on a revenue of 4.18 billion dollars in 2007. (ANI)

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