The Cincinnati-based media outfit made $78 million, or 48 cents a share, from continuing operations for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from the year-ago $64 million, or 39 cents a share. Revenue rose 13% from a year ago to $583 million.
Analysts were looking for a 40-cent profit on sales of $584 million.
"Scripps had a very solid third quarter thanks primarily to strong advertising sales at our national lifestyle television networks and a flood of political advertising at our local television stations," said CEO Kenneth W. Lowe. "Ratings and viewership at HGTV and Food Network have good momentum, providing a sound foundation for strong double-digit increases in advertising revenue and segment profit at our Scripps Networks division.
"The Scripps Television Station Group also fared well during the three- month period as a result of strong political advertising in our key television markets," Lowe said. "Our stations are benefiting from vigorously contested races, primarily in Ohio, Michigan and Florida.
"Strong financial performance at Shopzilla and uSwitch also contributed to the company's consolidated growth," Lowe said. "Consumers in growing numbers in the U.S. and the U.K. are turning to our Internet search businesses to shop for the best deals on retail products and essential home services.
"At the company's newspapers, a generally soft advertising climate, led by declines in national advertising and automotive and help wanted classified advertising, held back revenue and segment profit growth during the quarter," Lowe said. "Online newspaper advertising revenue, however, continues to be a bright spot, delivering very strong double-digit growth as we effectively monetize the Internet audiences that we're aggregating."
The company said it expects to make 67 to 71 cents a share for the fourth quarter, in line with the 69-cent Wall Street estimate.