McClatchy posts lower 3Q earnings; stock dives

AP News
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Posted: Oct 19, 2010 2:47 PM
McClatchy posts lower 3Q earnings; stock dives

Newspaper publisher McClatchy Co. reported a drop in third-quarter earnings and an uncertain outlook for the last months of the year Tuesday, sending the company's stock into a dive.

McClatchy shares fell 36 cents, or 10.5 percent, to $3.06 in afternoon trading after sinking as low as $2.88 earlier in the session.

The publisher of The Sacramento Bee, The Miami Herald and other newspapers, said print advertising revenues continued to decline, if at a slower pace. A small lift from digital ad sales could not entirely offset print declines.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt said "visibility on revenues is limited."

And trends during the third quarter illustrated a choppy advertising market. The company said that advertising revenue fell 6.1 percent in July over the same month of last year, followed by a 5.8 percent decline in August and then a 7.3 percent decline in September.

McClatchy, based in Sacramento, Calif., reported net income of $11.9 million, or 14 cents per share, for the three months ended in September. That's down from $23.6 million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier.

Stripping out one-time items, earnings came to 12 cents per share, a penny lower than a year ago.

Overall revenue fell 6 percent to $327.7 million from $347.4 million.

Online advertising revenue grew 1.6 percent to $47.5 million, offset by an 8 percent decline in print, which totaled $201.7 million. Circulation revenue, including subscription fees and newsstand sales, declined 4 percent to $66.4 million.