Washington Post Q3 Results

Oct 29, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The Washington Post Co. on Friday reported that its third-quarter profit skyrocketed, in large part due to a smaller stock compensation expense booked in the 2004 quarter compared with a year ago.

The company, which owns cable properties and six television stations in addition to its publishing interests, reported a third-quarter profit of $82.5 million, or $8.57 a share, compared with a year-ago profit of $19.9 million, or $2.06 a share.

Revenue rose 16 percent to $820 million, fueled by strong revenue growth at the company’s television stations as well as at its education business, which includes the Kaplan test-prep service.

The company’s six stations collectively took in $9.6 million in political advertising in the quarter and $8 million in Olympics-related advertising. Together, those contributions helped offset lower revenues at the company’s three television stations in Florida, which were hurt buy the hurricanes that hit the state in recent weeks.

Overall, revenue at the station group rose 22 percent to $91.4 million, while operating income climbed 36 percent to $43.4 million.

The company’s cable business, meanwhile, reported an 8 percent rise in revenue to $124.9 million, while operating income rose 9 percent to $24.5 million. The growth in this division was driven by increases in high-speed data and digital cable subscriptions as well as a $2 increase in basic cable rates.

That rate increase took a toll on the sub base, however, with the number of basic cable subscribers falling slightly to 712,800 from a year-earlier figure of 716,700.