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The Washington Post Company Reports First Quarter Earnings

Stocks in this article: WPO

The Company’s equity in earnings of affiliates, net, for the first quarter of 2012 was $3.9 million, compared to $3.7 million for the first quarter of 2011.

Other Non-Operating Income (Expense)

The Company recorded other non-operating income, net, of $8.6 million for the first quarter of 2012, compared to other non-operating expense, net, of $24.0 million for the first quarter of 2011. The first quarter 2012 non-operating income, net, included a $5.8 million gain on sales of cost method investments, $2.7 million in unrealized foreign currency gains and other items.

The first quarter 2011 non-operating expense, net, included a $30.7 million write-down of a marketable equity security (Corinthian Colleges, Inc.), offset by a $3.8 million gain on the sale of a cost method investment, $2.7 million in unrealized foreign currency gains and other items.

Net Interest Expense

The Company incurred net interest expense of $8.1 million for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $7.0 million for the first quarter of 2011. At March 31, 2012, the Company had $456.4 million in borrowings outstanding at an average interest rate of 7.0%.

Provision for Income Taxes

The effective tax rate for income from continuing operations for the first quarter of 2012 was 48.1%, compared to 37.2% for the first quarter of 2011. The higher effective tax rate in 2012 results primarily from losses in Australia for which no tax benefit is recorded.

Discontinued Operations

Kaplan sold EduNeering in April 2012, Kaplan Learning Technologies in February 2012, Kaplan Compliance Solutions in October 2011 and Kaplan Virtual Education in July 2011. Consequently, the Company’s income from continuing operations excludes these businesses, which have been reclassified to discontinued operations, net of tax.

The sale of Kaplan Learning Technologies resulted in a pre-tax loss of $3.1 million that was recorded in the first quarter of 2012. The sale of EduNeering resulted in an estimated pre-tax gain of $30 million, which will be recorded in the second quarter of 2012.

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