Belo Rises on Revenue Beat

Belo ( BLC) rose 4% early Friday after posting stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings.

The Dallas-based owner of the Dallas Morning News made $42.6 million, or 41 cents a share, for the quarter ended June 30. That compared to $42.9 million, or 36 cents a share, during the same period last year. Revenue grew to $403.5 million from $391.2 million, a 3% lift.

Earnings during the period included an 8 cent per share tax benefit related to Texas state tax reforms and a previously disclosed $7.5 million gain related to a payment associated with a change-in-control provision in one of Belo's vendor contracts.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected the company to earn 31 cents a share on $401.6 million in revenue.

"Second-quarter EPS finished 7 cents above the high end of our June 20 guidance with 3 cents due to better-than-expected results from operations, more specifically as a result of stronger-than-anticipated television revenues and lower expenses, and 4 cents due to the one-time tax benefit associated with Texas state tax reforms," said Chairman Robert Decherd, in a statement.

Revenue at the company's TV group increased 5.6% and Newspaper Group revenue rose 1%.

"We expect the revenue momentum experienced by Belo's television stations in the second quarter to carry over into the third quarter," the company said. "Belo's Television Group expects to benefit significantly from political revenues in the third quarter as political races and issues heat up."

For the newspaper group, Decherd expects that revenue will be "up slightly" in the third quarter, with ad revenue flat vs. the prior year.

Analysts will be looking for the company to earn 24 cents a share on $395.9 million in revenue next quarter.

Belo shares rose 58 cents early Friday to $15.78.

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