Earnings: Housing Market Presented Small Pluses, Large Minuses For Primedia In Q3

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Primedia (NYSE: PRM), adjusting its focus on real estate content these days, saw its Q3 net income fall $381.8 million, which the company said was related to the sale of the Enthusiast Media segment in May 2007. Specifically, the company reported net income of $12 million ($0.27 per share) in Q3 compared to $393.8 million ($8.92 per share) a year ago. Revenue in the quarter was also down, sliding 4.9 percent to $76.4 million from $80.3 million in Q3.

-- The home ownership market might be tough, but the weak economy might be turning once prospective buyers into renters, which would be a good thing for Primedia's business, which has been struggling the past few years. Still, Primedia's results at this point remain mixed. The company's Apartments segmentwhich includes Apartment Guide, ApartmentGuide.com and Rentals.comwas up 2.3 percent to $53.6 million from $52.4 million in Q307. The unit represents approximately 85 percent of Primedia's total ad revenues. Revenue from Primedia's online single-unit real estate rental product line, Rentals.com, grew 8.9 percent sequentially from Q2, but it declined by 8.9 percent compared to Q307.

-- In the case of Primedia's its smaller New Homes segment, in light of the deteriorating housing market, revenue from New Homes, representing approximately 15 percent its ad dollars, dropped 28.8 percent to $9.3 million from last year's $13.1 million.

Release | Webcast (10:00 AM EDT)

By David Kaplan