Skip to comments.E.W. Scripps Reports 4Q Loss of $603,000 (Dinosaur Media Extinction Alert)
Posted on 02/02/2006 7:46:58 PM PST by abb
Thursday February 2, 5:44 pm ET E.W. Scripps Posts Fourth-Quarter Loss of $603,000 on Costs; Shares Rise 4.2 Percent
CINCINNATI (AP) -- The E.W. Scripps Co., a newspaper publisher and owner of the Food Network, Home & Garden Television and other cable networks, swung to a loss in the fourth quarter on costs for writing down its Shop At Home unit and consolidating newspaper operations in Denver.
Scripps lost $603,000 during the quarter, but broke even on a per-share basis. That compares to earnings in the year-ago quarter of $91.3 million, or 55 cents per share. Revenue grew 17 percent to $706.8 million from $606.7 million.
Scripps blamed the loss on a big write-down for Shop At Home, which sells consumer goods directly to television viewers and visitors to its Web site. Excluding that charge, Scripps said it would have earned 54 cents per share.
The company said its loss also includes the effect of a decision earlier in the year to consolidate newspaper production operations in Denver, costing 4 cents per share.
Analysts expected Scripps to post a quarterly profit of 49 cents per share, excluding one-time items such as charges, according to Thomson Financial.
Scripps' shares rose $2, or 4.2 percent, to close at $50.25 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Scripps said it had to write down the book value of Shop At Home because of the unit's ongoing losses and "a longer than previously expected path to profitability." Scripps said it is in the process of exploring strategic alternatives for the struggling business. The unit lost $10.4 million in the quarter.
The newspaper division's profit was $55.4 million in quarter compared with $69.1 million a year ago, with the decline attributed to higher depreciation expenses for equipment at the Denver operations.
The company's cable networks division, however, which includes HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network and others, turned in another strong quarter, reporting a gain of 34 percent in profits over the 2004 quarter.
Scripps also said its Shopzilla unit, an online comparison shopping service that Scripps acquired in June 2005, performed well.
For the full year, earnings fell 18 percent to $249.2 million, or $1.51 per share, down from $303.8 million, or $1.84 per share, in 2004. Annual revenue increased 16 percent to $2.51 billion from $2.17 billion.
Looking ahead, Scripps forecast first-quarter earnings of 38 cents to 42 cents per share, compared to the consensus analyst estimate of 44 cents per share
The only sad thing about Scripps keeling over is that it sponsors the National Spelling Bee competition. I'd hate to lose the Bee. The rest of the operation can shrivel up and blow away.
No such luck for Bowater, whose main deal is the manufacture of newsprint. Here's a two-year look:
I also really like the Food Network. They can get rid of Shop at Home, all the paper rags. Just killin' trees for old news. I won't lose any sleep.
Half a million $$$ is chump change for Scripps. They're doing just fine.
I recently canceled my subscription to the Rocky Mountain News because they forced me to take delivery of that liberal rag Denver Post on Sundays and sometimes on Wednesdays. I got tired of the charade that they are two different papers.
But they blame their losses on their holdings in the new media (shop at home cable TV)...not everyone can do it right.
Or does someone suspect juggling the books?
I got to talk to him for a couple of minutes and walk the aisles. Kewl dude, very smart.