Earnings: Washington Post Q2; Publishing In Steep Decline; Cable And Education Still Strong

This story was written by Joseph Weisenthal.
The cable industry has had a strong quarter all around, and the Washington Post's (NYSE: WPO) cable unit was no exception, helping total group revenue moving upward Company-wide revenue was up 6 percent to $1,106 billion from $1,046.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. The cable business grew 16 percent to $178.9 million. Op income was up 25 percent to $40.1 million. During the quarter the company added both digital and standard cable subscribers, and saw a major boost from high-speed data and telephony.

The newspaper story is about what you'd expect from anyone else. Revenue fell a steep 13 percent to $197.3 million. The unit reported an operating loss of $96.7 million, although this includes a $79.8 million hit due to early retirement buyouts. That being said, even backing that cost out, the unit was still in losses for the quarter, the result of the revenue decrease and higher costs. On the digital side, revenue at washingtonpost.com up just 4 percent to $29.3. Elsewhere in publishing, Newsweek saw a 21 percent advertising decline. Total magazine publishing had op losses of $3.7 million.

Of course, all of these businesses (cable, publishing, etc.) are less than half of total revenues. The Kaplan education business had revenue of $576 million, for solid, 11 percent growth, excluding acquisitions. Op income grew 26 percent to $47.4 million.

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By Joseph Weisenthal

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