Pulitzer Net Income Falls From Last Year’s Numbers
Pulitzer announced that first-quarter 2005 net income was $7.0 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, compared with $8.1 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, in the prior year.
First-quarter operating revenue increased 3.3 percent to $106.1 million from $102.7 million in the prior year, and operating income increased 3.4 percent to $16.8 million.
Results for the first quarter of 2005 included expenses associated with the exploration of a range of strategic alternatives for the Company, including expenses related to the Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Lee Merger Agreement”) with Lee Enterprises, Incorporated. Excluding this item from the 2005 first-quarter period, first-quarter 2005 and 2004 base earnings per diluted share were $0.42 and $0.37, respectively.
“This was a good quarter, with solid revenue growth accompanied by continued tight control of operating expenses,” said Robert C. Woodworth, president and chief executive officer. “Advertising revenue increased 5.0 percent during the quarter, reflecting continued strong performances at Pulitzer Newspapers, Inc. (“PNI”) and across-the-board strength in the preprint category. Classified advertising was up 3.4 percent for the quarter, as strength in help wanted, up 4.9 percent in St. Louis and 37.1 percent at PNI, more than offset weakness in the automotive category. Retail revenue, including retail preprint revenue, increased 6.0 percent, reflecting the solid performance of Local Values, our St. Louis direct mail initiative, and the continued strength at PNI. The Tucson Newspaper Agency (“TNI”) had another strong quarter, with total advertising revenues up 7.9 percent, led by a 9.4 percent gain in total classified, with help wanted up 22.2 percent.”
Operating income for the first quarter of 2005 increased 3.4 percent to $16.8 million, from $16.2 million in the prior year. Operating revenue increased 3.3 percent to $106.1 million, from $102.7 million in the first quarter of 2004.
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