Sat, Mar 31, 2001 EST
fundsnav.gif (2552 bytes)
account management
business home

Media General Earnings Down 13 Percent
Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. — Media General Inc.'s earnings fell 13 percent in the final three months of 2000 even though the company's net income grew in its core publishing and broadcast divisions.

The Richmond-based media conglomerate reported fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday of $20.8 million, or 91 cents per share, on its continuing operations. That excludes a gain of $482,000, or two cents a share, from discontinued operations.

The earnings fell below the 95 cents per share estimate by analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial. They were also lower than the fourth-quarter earnings in 1999 of $28.0 million, or $1.05 per share, from continuing operations.

Higher interest payments accounted for the smaller profit. Interest expenses increased from $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 1999 to $16.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Media General's quarterly revenues increased significantly in 2000, especially in its broadcast division. That's largely related to several acquisitions the company made in 2000.

The publishing division, which includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Tampa Tribune, increased quarterly revenue to $163 million from $138 million.

The broadcast division, which acquired 12 new stations in 2000 with the $605 million purchase of Spartan Communications, increased quarterly revenue to $82 million from $48 million.

Even excluding the acquisitions, broadcast revenue increased 10 percent, largely due to heavy political advertising at its three Florida television stations.

The two divisions combined turned a quarterly profit of $70 million, a 25 percent increase over the $56 million earned by the two divisions in 1999.

For the year, Media General earned $64 million, or $2.66 per share, on continuing operations on revenue of $831 million.

In 1999, the company earned $79 million, or $2.97 per share, on continuing operations on revenue of $693 million.

For 2001, the company warned of a weaker advertising market that could hurt revenues, particularly in the first quarter.

"We look for the market to strengthen in the second half of the year," said Media General Chairman J. Stewart Bryan III.

More Marketwire More MarketWire News Top of Page

© 2000, News Digital Media, Inc. d/b/a Fox News Online
All rights reserved. Fox News is a registered trademark of 20th Century Fox Film Corp.
Data from Thomson Financial Interactive is subject to the following Privacy Statement
© 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.