Skip to comments.Media General Q1 Earnings Fall (Dinosaur Media Extinction Alert)
Posted on 04/12/2006 5:05:45 AM PDT by abb
(RTTNews) - Media General Inc. (MEG | charts | news | PowerRating) said it earned $6.7 million or $0.28 per diluted share in the first quarter, compared to $9.3 million or $0.39 per diluted share in the comparable period of the prior year.
Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial expected the company to earn $0.29 per share for the quarter.
Media General commenced expensing stock options at the beginning of fiscal 2006, and non-cash stock option expense reduced first-quarter pretax income by $1.6 million. The company also reported lower profit in the Publishing Division.
The company's revenues for the quarter were $226.4 million, in comparison with $217.91 million in the year-ago quarter.
Media General profits despite weak publishing
By Angela Moore, MarketWatch
Last Update: 8:22 AM ET Apr 12, 2006
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Media General Inc. on Wednesday posted a first-quarter profit just shy of Wall Street's expectations, as the expensing of stock options and weakness in its publishing division offset strength in broadcasting and interactive media.
The newspaper publisher and television broadcaster posted first-quarter income of $6.7 million, or 28 cents a share. In the year-ago period the company posted a loss of $316.2 million, or $13.25 a share. Excluding the impact of a change in accounting principle, the company's year-ago profit was $9.3 million, or 39 cents a share.
Media General's (MEG) revenue in the quarter rose to $226.4 million from $217.9 million.
Analysts, on average, were expecting the newspaper publisher and television-station operator to post a profit of 29 cents a share on revenue of $228.9 million, according to Thomson First Call.
Last month, the company forecast first-quarter earnings in a range of 27 cents to 30 cents a share.
"In the first quarter, we were pleased with the improved performance of our broadcast and interactive media divisions; however, their improvements could not fully offset our initial expensing of stock options and lower profit in the publishing division," Marshall Morton, Media General's president and chief executive officer said in a statement.
Media General began expensing stock options at the beginning of fiscal 2006, as required by an accounting rule, and non-cash stock-option expense reduced first-quarter pretax income by $1.6 million.
In the second quarter, the publishing division expects advertising revenues to increase 5.5% to 6% compared with last year's second quarter. Classified revenue growth will again be driven by real estate advertising, partially offset by continued weakness in automotive advertising.
Media General expects new revenue initiatives to boost retail growth, and some improvement is expected in national revenue.
Revenue growth for the quarter will be partially offset by higher expenses, but the publishing segment profit is expected to increase compared with the second quarter of 2005.
In the first quarter, the interactive media division had overall revenue growth of 36.3% driven by strong online classified advertising. In the publishing division, total revenue growth of 3.3% was offset by a 5.7% increase in expenses and profit dipped 6.1%.
Classified advertising revenues in the quarter increased 11.2%, and mostly reflected strength in the real-estate category, the company said.
National advertising revenues for the first quarter fell 8.6%. Circulation revenues for the first quarter slipped 4.8%, and broadcast-division profit for the quarter increased 3.9%. End of Story
Angela Moore is a MarketWatch editor based in New York.
GCI = Gannet
MEG = Media General