Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) today reported second quarter 2005 diluted earnings per share of $.73 compared with $.29 in the second quarter of 2004. The 2005 second quarter results included a net non-operating gain of $.13 per diluted share, while the 2004 second quarter results included a net non-operating loss of $.24 per diluted share.
Publishing operating profit in the 2004 second quarter included two pretax charges totaling $52 million, or $.09 per diluted share: $17 million for the elimination of 375 positions and $35 million as the initial estimate of the cost to settle with advertisers regarding misstated circulation at Newsday and Hoy, New York.
Tribune presents earnings per share amounts on a generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) basis only. This differs from the pro forma earnings per share amounts supplied by broker analysts to databases such as First Call.
“Second quarter results reflect our continued focus on cost controls in the face of a weak advertising environment in the nation’s largest markets,” said Dennis J. FitzSimons, Tribune chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our businesses generated about $400 million in operating cash flow during the quarter, and we repurchased more than
5 million shares of stock.”
SECOND QUARTER 2005 RESULTS1
(Compared to Second Quarter 2004)
Tribune’s 2005 second quarter operating revenues decreased 2 percent to $1.46 billion from $1.5 billion in the 2004 second quarter. Consolidated cash operating expenses were down 5 percent, or $52 million. Operating cash flow was up 5 percent to $396 million, while operating profit increased 6 percent to $338 million.
Publishing’s second quarter operating revenues were $1 billion, down 1 percent compared with last year’s second quarter. Publishing cash operating expenses were down 6 percent, or $53 million; $52 million of the decrease is attributable to the two charges discussed above. Publishing operating cash flow was $263 million, a 21 percent increase from $217 million in 2004. Publishing operating profit increased 27 percent to $218 million, up from $171 million in 2004.
- Advertising revenues increased 1 percent for the quarter. Excluding Newsday, advertising revenues increased 2 percent. In September 2004, Newsday implemented lower ad rates as a result of the significant reduction in reported circulation.
- Retail advertising revenues were down 1 percent for the quarter. Decreases in department stores, food and drug and electronics categories were partially offset by increases in general merchandise. Preprint revenues increased 4 percent, led by an 11 percent increase in Los Angeles, a 5 percent increase in Chicago and a
13 percent increase in South Florida; Newsday was down 5 percent.
- National advertising was down 4 percent for the quarter, with decreases in transportation, wireless and resorts, partially offset by increases in financial, auto and package goods. Los Angeles was down 4 percent; Chicago was up 3 percent; and Newsday decreased 12 percent.
- Classified advertising was up 6 percent for the quarter. Help wanted revenues for the group were up 13 percent; Los Angeles was up 9 percent; Chicago rose
10 percent; and Newsday was flat. Real estate revenues rose 18 percent and auto revenues were down 7 percent for the quarter.
- Circulation revenues were down 9 percent primarily due to volume declines at each of the Company’s newspapers, as well as selectively higher discounting.
- Interactive revenues, which are included in the above categories, were up
45 percent to $45 million due to strength in classified revenues.
- Cash operating expenses decreased 6 percent, or $53 million, due primarily to the absence of the two previously discussed 2004 charges, which totaled $52 million. All other cash operating expenses were down $1 million, primarily due to a
1 percent decrease in compensation expense, which was driven by a 5 percent staffing reduction. Newsprint and ink expense was flat compared with last year’s second quarter, as newsprint cost per ton was up 9 percent while consumption decreased 8 percent.
BROADCASTING AND ENTERTAINMENT
Broadcasting and entertainment’s second quarter operating revenues decreased 6 percent to $423 million, down from $450 million in 2004. Group cash operating expenses were flat compared with the 2004 second quarter. Operating cash flow was $147 million, down
16 percent from $174 million, and operating profit decreased 16 percent to $134 million from $160 million.
Television’s second quarter revenues decreased 9 percent to $335 million, down from
$368 million in 2004. Television cash operating expenses were up 1 percent from last year. Television operating cash flow was $132 million, a 21 percent decrease from
$167 million. Television operating profit declined 22 percent to $121 million, down from $155 million.
- Television revenues were affected by a continuing uneven advertising environment, particularly in major markets, as well as softness in the automobile, movie and telecom categories. Station revenues in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston continue to be impacted by Local People Meters.
- Radio/entertainment results reflect increased revenues for the Chicago Cubs primarily due to higher game receipts and growth in broadcasting and marketing revenues.
Net equity income was $12 million in the second quarter of 2005, compared with
$4 million in the second quarter of 2004. The increase reflects improvements at TV Food Network, CareerBuilder and Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
In the 2005 second quarter, Tribune recorded a pretax non-operating gain of $67 million ($41 million after-tax, or $.13 per diluted share), primarily from marking-to-market the Company’s PHONES derivatives and related Time Warner investment.
In the 2004 second quarter, the Company recorded a pretax non-operating loss of
$127 million ($80 million after-tax, or $.24 per diluted share). Non-operating items in the second quarter of 2004 included an after-tax loss of $88 million from the early retirement of debt and an after-tax gain of $12 million from marking-to-market the Company’s PHONES derivatives and related Time Warner investment.
ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL DETAILS
Corporate expenses for the 2005 second quarter increased to $13.5 million from
$12.7 million in the second quarter of 2004, primarily due to higher retirement plan expense.
Net interest expense for the 2005 second quarter decreased to $34 million, down 3 percent from $35 million in the second quarter of 2004. Debt, excluding the PHONES, was $1.9 billion at the end of the 2005 second quarter, compared with $2.2 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2004.
The effective tax rate in the 2005 second quarter was 39.0 percent, compared with
40.0 percent in the 2004 second quarter.
Diluted weighted average shares outstanding declined by 4 percent primarily due to significant stock repurchases. The Company repurchased 15.5 million shares in the full year 2004 and 5.4 million shares in the first half of 2005.
Capital expenditures were about $35 million in the second quarter of 2005.
2005 FINANCIAL ASSUMPTIONS
Consolidated revenues will continue to be impacted by many factors, including changes in national and local economic conditions, job creation, circulation levels and audience shares. Investors are encouraged to review the Company’s monthly revenue releases for current trends.
For the full year 2005, consolidated operating expenses are expected to decline due to the absence of the $90 million advertising settlement charge and the $41 million of position elimination costs recorded in 2004. All other consolidated operating expenses are expected to be flat to up slightly for 2005 due to higher expenses for retirement and medical plans and newsprint, along with a slight increase in broadcast rights expense. Net equity income is projected to be higher than 2004. Interest expense is expected to be somewhat below 2004 due to the full year impact of the debt refinancing in the second quarter of 2004. The effective income tax rate for 2005 is expected to be approximately
38 percent. Capital expenditures are projected to increase slightly over 2004.
The Company is required to adopt Financial Accounting Standard No. 123R, which requires the expensing of stock options, in the first quarter of 2006.
WEBCAST OF CONFERENCE CALL
Today at 8 a.m. (CDT), a live webcast of the 2005 second quarter conference call will be accessible through www.tribune.com and www.ccbn.com. An archive of the webcast will be available on these sites from July 14 through July 21. More information about Tribune is available at www.tribune.com or by calling 800/757-1694.
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1 “Operating profit” for each segment excludes interest income and expense, equity income and losses, non-operating items and income taxes. “Operating cash flow” is defined as operating profit before depreciation and amortization. “Cash operating expenses” are defined as operating expenses before depreciation and amortization. Tables accompanying this release include a reconciliation of operating profit to operating cash flow and operating expenses to cash operating expenses. References to individual daily newspapers include their related businesses.