reported a sharp increase in second-quarter earnings Monday, but the media company forecast third-quarter earnings that would be below analysts' predictions.
Including investment write-downs, the company earned $64.7 million, or 80 cents a share, compared with $27 million, or 33 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding items, the company earned $66.8 million, or 82 cents a share, up from $61.6 million, or 76 cents a share, in last year's second quarter. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 83 cents a share. Total sales rose to $474.8 million from $433.9 million a year ago.
The company said its Scripps Network profits rose 70% to $55.9 million on revenue of $142 million, up 28%. Home & Garden Television contributed $40.6 million to Scripps Network's profits, while the Food Network contributed $23.8 million to the segment's net income.
Newspaper earnings fell 4.4% to $67.5 million, on a revenue increase of 1.5%. The company cited higher newsprint prices and retail weakness. Scripps Network's advertising revenue, however, was up 31% to $117 million.
"At the company's newspapers, the slow ascent of the broader economy from its current trough affected second-quarter results," said Chief Executive Kenneth W. Lowe. "In a number of our markets, large department stores trimmed their newspaper advertising budgets, which had a negative effect on the local retail category. Also, help-wanted advertising continues to be down across the board."
In the third quarter, the company expects to earn 55 cents to 65 cents a share, compared with 57 cents a share in the year-ago period. Analysts currently expect 68 cents a share. Cincinnati-based Scripps expects advertising revenue to increase 25% to 30% in the third quarter and newspaper sales are seen rising 2% to 4%.
Shares of Scripps closed at $88.90 Friday on the
New York Stock Exchange