E.W. Scripps Guides Lower

Fourth-quarter earnings will be at the low end of its 52 cents to 56 cents a share estimate.
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E.W. Scripps'

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fourth-quarter earnings will probably miss Wall Street estimates the company said Friday, due to the impact of Hurricane Wilma on its Florida operations plus soft retail sales at its Shop at Home unit.

The media company said earnings will be at the low end of its previous guidance for 52 cents to 56 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were forecasting earnings of 55 cents a share on sales of $709.9 million in Scripps' fourth quarter.

By segment, Scripps said total newspaper revenue was $64.1 million in October, up 1.4% from a year ago, while newspaper advertising revenue rose 2.6%. The company said Wilma caused a loss of business in its two Florida newspaper markets.

In broadcast television, October revenue slid 28% to $30.7 million, reflecting the absence of political advertising compared with last year. October revenue at its Shop at Home television retailing unit rose 3.3% to $25.1 million, reflecting softer-than-expected sales and a "strategic shift away from electronics and toward home-related products with relatively lower price points," Scripps said.

October revenue at Scripps Networks, which includes cable and satellite television stations HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network and other channels, rose 30% from a year ago to $84.3 million. The gain comprised a 32% rise in advertising revenue and a 17% rise in fee revenue.

The stock closed at $47.58 Thursday, about 21 times next year's Thomson First Call consensus earnings estimate of $2.26 a share.