Broadcasting revenues were down 22.9% in Q1 at McGraw-Hill Companies. But the TV group is just a tiny part of the total operation and revenues companywide were only down 5.7% as earnings per share fell a nickel to 20 cents.
“Revenue at the Broadcasting Group was off 22.9% to $18.3 million in the first quarter, reflecting softness in both local and national advertising and the absence of political advertising in a non-election year,” the company said in its brief summary of results for its TV stations in four markets. It noted that local and national ad revenues were down, in addition to having tough comps against the political advertising of 2008.
For the entire Information & Media division, revenues were down 7.4% to $225.4 million. Operating profits declined 76.4% to $2.8 million.
All divisions reported revenue declines for Q1, but McGraw-Hill CEO Terry McGraw noted that the Financial Services division did benefit from a surge in investment grade corporate issues, which generated fees for its Standard & Poor’s operation.
Total revenues were down 5.7% to $1.15 billion. Net income declined to $63 million from $81.1 million a year ago. That produced the EPS of 20 cents, down from 25 cents in Q1 of 2008.
Looking ahead, McGraw-Hill is telling investors to expect revenues to be down 4-5% in 2009, rather than the previous guidance of a 1-2% decrease. However, the company is maintaining its view that, with tight expense controls, EPS will still be in a range of $2.20-2.30 for all of 2009.