Belo ( BLC) projected first-quarter earnings below Wall Street's estimate, as the newspaper and television station company grapples with higher costs. The company forecast earnings of 13 cents to 15 cents a share for the first quarter, including $3 million of stock-options expense. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting the company to earn 20 cents a share, including the effects of stock-option costs. The company expects the television group spot revenues to increase in the high-single digits and the newspaper group advertising revenues to rise in low-single digits. "Belo's revenue growth in the first quarter will be strong with gains across all operating segments," the company said. "On the expense side, the first quarter will be the most difficult quarter of 2006 because it is affected by the recording of expenses related to the change in circulation distribution methods at The Dallas Morning News, the timing of various expenses versus last year, and expenses related to new products launched in the second half of 2005." The company's stock closed Tuesday at $21.34, down 3 cents.