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Washington Post Reports Loss In Q4

Washington Post Co. (WPO) Friday reported a swing to loss in the fourth quarter, with its bottom line weighed down by hefty charges at its educational subsidiary, Kaplan, and a sluggish revenue growth.

Revenues for the quarter grew 1 percent, as performance at its four segments were mixed. Revenues and operating profit declined at the education and newspaper publishing divisions, while revenues and operating income increased at the television broadcasting and cable television business.

Newspaper publishing revenues declined 6 percent to $162.1 million, reflecting a 12 percent decline in print advertising revenue at The Washington Post, partially offset by a 5 percent increase in revenue at the company's newspaper online publishing activities. Display online advertising revenue increased 7 percent.

Television broadcasting division's revenues increased 32 percent to $116.2 million due to increase in political advertising and summer Olympics-related advertising. Revenues at the cable television grew 6 percent to $201.7 million, due to continued growth in internet and telephone service revenues as well as rate increases.

Total operating revenues grew 1 percent to $1.05 billion from $1.04 billion last year. Revenue declined 6 percent at the education division to $544.4 million.

Kaplan's operating loss for the quarter was $111.9 million, compared to operating profit of $30.9 million last year, reflecting a significant decline in Kaplan Higher Education results, a $111.6 million assets impairment costs related to Kaplan Test Preparation, and $45.2 million in restructuring costs.

Washington Post's fourth-quarter loss attributable to stockholders was $45.4 million or $6.57 per share, compared to a profit of $61.7 million or $8.03 per share last year.

Excluding special items, income from continuing operations improved to $78.8 million or $10.61 per share from $68.4 million or $8.91 per share last year.

WPO is currently trading at $406.52, down $5.88 or 1.43% on the NYSE.

by RTT Staff Writer

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