E.W. SCRIPPS RELEASES FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS
CINCINNATI, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) today reported first-quarter income of $32.6 million, 44 cents per share, versus $14.7 million, 20 cents per share, in the year- ago quarter, before the cumulative effect of an accounting change. Excluding gains, unusual items and the cumulative effect, net income rose 13 percent to $16.6 million, 22 cents per share, from $14.7 million, 20 cents per share, in 1992. "Our broadcast and cable television operations performed ahead of expectations in the early months of this year," said Lawrence A. Leser, president and chief executive officer. "In the cable division, our customer base continues to grow, attesting to the value of that dynamic product. And in the broadcast division, local advertising has bounced back surprisingly well. "In the newspaper group, however, the recovery has been less robust. While classified advertising is running well ahead of last year, local retail advertising remains sluggish," Leser said. Consolidated operating income, excluding divested operations and unusual items, rose 14 percent to $41.4 million and operating cash flow (operating income before depreciation and amortization) moved up 12 percent to $70.7 million. (Gains, unusual items, divested operations and the accounting change are explained at the end of the text.)
Operating cash flow, excluding divested operations, was down 2.1 percent to $27.7 million, primarily due to weak local retail advertising revenues. Total newspaper advertising revenues rose 9.4 percent to $93.2 million, but were boosted by the addition of several small California newspapers acquired since the first quarter of 1992. Excluding the newly acquired newspapers, total advertising revenues were up 4 percent. Classified revenues moved up 9 percent. However, local retail advertising revenues decreased 1 percent. Excluding divested operations, charges for depreciation and amortization increased $2.9 million, to $9.7 million, due to a new production plant for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver. Operating income declined 16 percent to $18 million.
Operating cash flow moved up 28 percent to $18.1 million, excluding an unusual credit. Total operating costs decreased 1.5 percent, primarily because of lower costs for syndicated programming. Operating income increased 43 percent to $12.7 million. Revenues advanced 5.3 percent to $61.8 million. The demand for advertising time improved across the television station group, sparked by generally stronger demand by local advertisers. In February the company announced plans to offer for sale its radio stations: KUPL AM and FM, in Portland, Ore.; WVRT FM, in Baltimore; and WMC AM and WMC FM, in Memphis. Those stations combined had revenues of $2.8 million, operating cash flow of $400,000 and operating income of $300,000 in the first quarter of 1993.
CABLE TELEVISION RESULTS
Strong revenue growth and good cost control combined to lift operating cash flow 17 percent to $28 million. Operating income increased 51 percent to $14 million. Revenues grew 10 percent to $65.3 million, largely the result of a 4 percent increase year-over-year in the number of total subscribers. The company's systems added 7,000 new subscribers during the first quarter and 26,000 in the past 12 months for a total of 678,000. On April 1 the Federal Communications Commission issued new guidelines that could affect the pricing of cable television products. At this point, the company lacks the information necessary to assess the impact.
EXPLANATION OF UNUSUAL ITEMS AND DIVESTED OPERATIONS
Divested operations include The Pittsburgh Press, sold Dec. 31, 1992, and Pharos Books, sold Feb. 15, 1993. The sale of Pharos Books resulted in a gain. In the first quarter the company reduced its estimate of copyright fees that could be owed as the result of a dispute between the television industry and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Following a recent and favorable court decision, the company decided to reduce the amount it had accrued in prior years. The company's agreement to guarantee $53 million in debt for the Ogden (Utah) Standard Examiner expired with a recent change in ownership at that newspaper. The company received a fee in connection with the transaction. In the first quarter of 1992 the company adopted Financial Accounting Standard No. 106 - Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits. The cumulative effect of the change was $38 million before taxes, $22.4 million after taxes, 30 cents per share. (Of the pre-tax liability, $31 million was associated with The Pittsburgh Press and was assumed by its new owner on Dec. 31, 1992.) ITEMS AFFECTING FIRST-QUARTER NET INCOME: ($ millions, except per share) 1993 1992 Sale of Pharos Books $12.1 -- Per share .16 -- Copyright accrual change $ 2.3 -- Per share .03 -- Fee associated with change in ownership of the Ogden Standard-Examiner $ 1.6 -- Per share .02 -- Accounting change - FAS 106 -- $(22.4) Per share -- (.30) ITEMS AFFECTING FIRST-QUARTER OPERATING RESULTS: ($ millions) 1993 1992 Divested operations: Revenues $ 4.5 $51.5 Operating income (0.2) 2.6 Operating cash flow 0.1 4.1 Copyright accrual change: Operating income $ 4.3 -- The E.W. Scripps Company is a diversified media company which operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 television stations, five radio stations and cable television systems with 678,000 basic subscribers. The company also is a worldwide syndicator and licensor of news features and comics. The E.W. Scripps Company Three months ending March 31, 1993 1992 (in thousands, except per share data) Operating revenues: Publishing $158,617 $195,703 Broadcasting 61,845 58,737 Cable television 65,286 59,148 Total operating revenues $285,748 $313,588 Operating Income: Publishing (d) $ 17,849 $ 24,143 Broadcasting (a) 17,008 8,872 Cable television 14,002 9,276 Corporate (3,338) (3,485) Total operating income 45,521 38,806 Interest expense (7,911) (8,212) Miscellaneous, net (b,c) 23,961 (190) Provision for income taxes (d) (26,768) (14,054) Minority interests (2,205) (1,653) Income before cumulative effect of an accounting change (a,b,c,d) 32,598 14,697 Cumulative effect of an accounting change (d) --- (22,413) Net income (loss) $32,598 $(7,716) Per share of common stock: Income before cumulative effect of an accounting change (a,b,c,d) $.44 $.20 Cumulative effect of an accounting change (d) -- (.30) Net income (loss) $.44 $(.10) Weighted average common shares outstanding 74,613 74,598 (a) -- In the first quarter of 1993 management changed the estimate of the additional amount of copyright fees the company would owe when a dispute between the television industry and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers ("ASCAP") was resolved. The adjustment increased operating income $4.3 million and net income $2.3 million ($.03 per share). (b) -- Includes a gain of $20.8 million on the first quarter 1993 sale of Pharos Books and World Almanac Education. The sale resulted in an after-tax gain of $12.1 million ($.16 per share). (c) -- Includes a $2.5 million fee received in connection with the sale of the Ogden Standard Register. The fee increased net income $1.6 million ($.02 per share). (d) -- The company adopted Financial Accounting Standard ("FAS") No. 106 - Employers' Accounting for Post-Retirement Benefits Other Than Pensions effective Jan. 1, 1992. Previously reported operating income was restated to apply the provisions of the new standard. Publishing segment operating income was reduced $0.5 million as a result of the restatement. Also in 1992 the company adopted FAS No. 109 - Accounting for Income Taxes retroactive to 1987. Previously reported first quarter 1992 income taxes were restated to apply the provisions of the new standard. The combined effects of these accounting changes reduced previously reported first quarter 1992 income before the cumulative effect of an accounting change by $1.1 million ($.01 per share). THE E.W. SCRIPPS COMPANY Unaudited Revenue and Statistical Summary Period: March Report date: April 15, 1993 March(A) 1993 1992 Pct Change REVENUE (000,000s) Local $15.3 $15.8 (3.2) Classified 11.7 10.9 7.3 National 1.0 1.0 0.0 Preprints 4.6 3.9 17.9 Newspaper advertising(C) 32.6 31.6 3.2 Circulation 10.1 9.3 8.6 Other publishing(B) 10.9 10.7 1.9 PUBLISHING 53.6 51.6 3.9 BROADCASTING 24.2 22.5 7.6 CABLE TELEVISION 22.2 19.8 12.1 Divested operations(D) 1.0 19.4 -- CONSOLIDATED $101.0 $113.3 (10.9) Newspaper ad inches(C) (000s) Local 733 730 0.4 Classified 950 816 16.4 National 35 32 9.4 Full run ROP 1,718 1,578 8.9 Part run ROP 96 70 37.1 Total 1,814 1,648 10.1 Cable TV basic subs (000s) Sacramento, Calif. 206.0 208.1 Chattanooga 101.3 96.4 Knoxville 96.6 90.2 Other systems 274.0 257.2 Total 677.9 651.9 Year to date 1993 1992 Pct Change REVENUE (000,000s) Local $ 43.7 $ 42.3 3.3 Classified 33.9 29.6 14.5 National 2.8 2.8 0.0 Preprints 13.1 10.8 21.3 Newspaper advertising(C) 93.5 85.5 9.4 Circulation 29.8 26.9 10.8 Other publishing(B) 30.7 31.8 (3.5) PUBLISHING 154.0 144.2 6.8 BROADCASTING 61.9 58.8 5.3 CABLE TELEVISION 65.3 59.1 10.5 Divested operations(D) 4.5 51.5 -- CONSOLIDATED $285.7 $313.6 (8.9) Newspaper ad inches(C)(000s) Local 2,063 1,963 5.1 Classified 2,680 2,249 19.2 National 84 84 0.0 Full run ROP 4,827 4,296 12.4 Part run ROP 248 193 28.5 Total 5,075 4,489 13.1 (A) -- March 1993 had one more Wednesday and one less Sunday than March 1992. (B) -- Includes licensing, syndication, share of profits of JOA newspapers not managed by the company, and commercial printing. (C) -- Excludes The Pittsburgh Press which was sold December 31, 1992. Includes three daily newspapers in California acquired in the fourth quarter of 1992. Excluding the acquired newspapers, for the month advertising revenues decreased 1 percent and full run ROP inches decreased 4 percent; the YTD changes were: advertising revenues, 4 percent increase; inches, 0 percent. (D) -- Divested operations includes The Pittsburgh Press, book publishing, and television listings. -0- 4/15/93 /CONTACT: Rich Boehne of The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3826/ (SSP)
CO: The E.W. Scripps Company ST: Ohio IN: PUB SU: ERN
BM -- CL031 -- 6395 04/15/93 15:37 EDT
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|Date:||Apr 15, 1993|
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