E. W. Scripps ( SSP) saw revenue grow significantly in its second quarter, but net income tumbled due to charges from discontinued operations. Excluding those, the media company topped Wall Street forecasts. The Cincinnati company earned $71.1 million, or 43 cents a share, for the quarter ended June 30. That's down from $97.6 million, or 59 cents a share, a year ago. In the latest quarter, earnings were hurt by charges and expenses related to the Shop at Home network, which Scripps is closing. Revenue was up 19% to $642 million. Second-quarter income from continuing operations was $105 million, or 64 cents a share, compared with $103 million, or 62 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter included stock options expense that reduced profit by 2 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected the company to earn 60 cents a share on revenue of $657.2 million in the 2006 quarter. Total revenue at Scripps Networks, which includes television outfits HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country, increased 17% to $286 million. At the company's interactive media division, which includes Shopzilla and uSwitch, profit reached $16.5 million on revenue of $65.0 million. Revenue at Scripps newspapers was up 4.8% to $182 million. At the company's local television stations, second-quarter revenue was up 3.9% to $86.4 million. Broadcast television profit for the period was $26.4 million compared with $27.1 million for the same period a year ago. Last year's second-quarter numbers benefited from a $1.8 million hurricane insurance settlement. "Scripps had an excellent second quarter, fully taking advantage of its diverse portfolio of targeted, consumer-focused media enterprises to achieve double-digit revenue and segment profit growth," said Chief Executive Ken Lowe. "Our solid operating results consistently demonstrate the success we've had identifying and investing in innovative media businesses that promise sustained, long-term growth."
"At our newspapers, advertising revenue grew respectably during the second quarter thanks to improved classified results, particularly in the real estate category, and rapidly growing online advertising," Lowe said. "Revenue grew in line with expectations at our local television stations, which benefited from primary election campaigns during the period and the resulting increase in political advertising." For the third quarter, the company anticipates earnings per share to be between 38 cents and 42 cents. Analysts surveyed by Thomson were forecasting 41 cents a share, on average. On Monday Scripps shares were set to open at $41.92.