An increase of $2.8 million in political revenues failed to counter the soft ad market for Post-Newsweek Stations, so Q1 revenues declined 4% to $77.7 million. Revenues for the entire Washington Post Company rose 8% to $1.06 billion, but net income dropped to $4.08 per share from $6.70 a year ago.
The Washington Post Company does not conduct quarterly conference calls, but the revenue line for Q1 was right in line with analysts’ expectations. The bottom line EPS calculation was a bit more difficult, since Q1 of 2007 included a one-time gain of $0.89 per share from the sale of a paper company and Q1 this year had charges of $1.60 per share for an early retirement program at Newsweek.
With television revenues down 4%, operating income for the Post-Newsweek Stations declined 10% to $26.9 million. Operating income was also down for the newspaper and magazine divisions, while education and cable TV posted higher operating income.
RBR/TVBR observation: The mix of businesses at Washington Post Company may not be what Wall Street likes, but CEO Donald Graham doesn’t much care about that, which explains why he doesn’t conduct quarterly conference calls. The company’s education and cable TV operations, which are not driven by ad dollars, are helping the company weather the ad downturn that’s taking a toll on its newspaper, magazine and broadcast TV operations.