Washington Post Profits, Earnings Soar

The Washington Post sees second quarter earnings skyrocket as ad sales rebound.
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WASHINGTON (

TheStreet

) --

The Washington Post

(WPO)

saw earnings soar during the second quarter, driven by strong gains in its education division and rebounding advertising sales.

For the quarter ended June 30, the company saw a triple digit gain in earnings to $91.9 million, or $10 per diluted share, compared with earnings of $12.3 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue rose 11% to $1.2 billion from $1.08 billion during the quarter. Revenue from its education segment was up 15% to $747.3 million from $649.3 million, primarily due to a 26% increase in higher education revenue.

Newspaper publishing revenue was up 2%. The company cut expenses in the segment, resulting in a smaller operating loss of $14.4 million compared with a loss of $89.3 million in the second quarter of 2009. Newspaper online revenue was up 14% to $26.9 million from $23.5 million, driven by positive results at

washingtonpost.com

and

Slate

.

Television broadcast revenue was up 24% to $82.6 million from $66.7 million due to improved advertising demand in all markets, especially automotive. Olympic-related advertising at

NBC

, a company affiliate, also helped boost the advertising revenue.

For the first half of the year, the company swung to a profit to $137.3 million, $14.90 a share, compared with a loss of $6.9 million, or 74 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue rose 12.1% to $2.34 billion from $2.09 billion.

Revenue from the company's education division was up 29% driven by an 18% increase in total enrollment at its higher education programs. Newspaper online revenue increased 11% to 50.6 million from 45.6 million, and display online advertising was up 19%.

The company suffered an unexpected expense of $17.7 million when it withdrew from a multi-employer pension plan in the second quarter, but it wasn't as severe as the $56.8 million in early retirement program expenses the company had to pay in the year prior.

The company filed all activity at

Newsweek

under discontinued operations because it plans to complete the sale of the magazine in the third quarter.

Washington Post shares are down more than 3% to around $396.

-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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