Pulitzer costs lower Lee’s earnings | VailDaily.com

Pulitzer costs lower Lee’s earnings

DES MOINES, Iowa – Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. reported a 39 percent decline in quarterly profits Monday, despite higher revenues, due to costs related to its acquisition of Pulitzer Inc.Earnings fell to $13.1 million in the company’s fourth fiscal quarter, or 29 cents per share, from $21.3 million, or 47 cents per share, in the same period last year.Revenue surged 67 percent to $290.2 million from $174 million.Lee said costs related to the Pulitzer deal cut earnings by 22 cents in the quarter and 39 cents for its full fiscal year. Excluding those costs, Lee said fourth-quarter earnings would have been 51 cents per share.Advertising revenue, including the addition of Pulitzer, grew 74 percent during the quarter to $226 million, on especially big gains in national and online advertising. Excluding Pulitzer, total fourth-quarter ad revenue was up nearly 5 percent.For the full fiscal year, earnings fell 11 percent to $76.9 million, or $1.70 per share, from $86.1 million, or $1.91 per share last year. Excluding costs related to buying Pulitzer, Lee said annual earnings would have totaled $2.09 per share.Full-year revenue climbed 26 percent to $860.9 million from $683.3 million. Wall Street had pegged the company to earn $2 per share on sales of $865 million.Lee’s shares rose 37 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $40.45 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.Year-over-year circulation volume, including Pulitzer and Madison Newspapers, declined 1.8 percent daily and 2.2 percent Sunday in the six-month period that ended Sept. 30.The Newspaper Association of America reported that the average change for all newspapers during the period was minus 2.6 percent daily and minus 3.1 percent Sunday.Lee’s 58 daily newspapers have combined paid circulation of 1.7 million weekdays and 1.9 million on Sundays. Davenport-based Lee also operates more than 300 weekly newspapers and specialty publications, as well as online services, in 23 states.—On the Net: Lee Enterprises: http://www.lee.net

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