Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) reported a 16 percent drop in first quarter profit on Friday, citing lower revenues in its newspaper publishing, magazine publishing and television broadcasting divisions.
Net income for the firmâ€™s first fiscal quarter net income was $64.4 million, or $6.70 per share, down from net income of $76.9 million, or $7.95 per share reported in the same quarter of last year.
Analysts had widely expected earnings of $8.73 per share, according to a poll conducted by Thomson Financial.
Growth at the Washington based media companyâ€™s education and cable television divisions helped buoy revenue. Sales for the quarter ending April 1 were $985.6 million, up 4 percent from $948.3 million in 2006.
The education unit includes the Kaplanâ€™s post-secondary education businesses in the United States, which saw revenue grow 16 percent to $475.8 million.
As I wrote in our 2006 Annual Report, â€˜Kaplan will never be a business where the quarterly results look smooth, Post Company chairman and CEO Donald E. Graham said in a statement.2006 started with a bang; 2007 should get better as the year goes on.
The company's other divisions did not fare so well, however.
Its Newspaper publishing division has been hit by a shift of advertisers migrating from traditional media to Internet advertising.
Revenue in the newspaper division totaled $219.2 million for the first quarter of 2007, a 10 percent decrease from revenue of $243.5 million for the first quarter of 2006. Division operating income was down 53 percent to $14.9 million, from $32.0 million in 2006.
The online edition of the newspaper, Washingtonpost.com was up 10 percent to $25.1 million for the first quarter, versus $22.8 million in 2006.
Magazine publishing revenue also dropped to $61.2 million for the first quarter of 2007, an 18 percent decrease from $74.8 million for the first quarter of 2006.
The cable and television divisions were also down, posting a 6 percent loss.
Washington Post shares dropped $4.40, or 0.57 percent, to $764.50 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.