Lee Enterprises, the parent company of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers and publications, on Friday reported a drop in third-quarter earnings and revenue.
Davenport, Iowa-based Lee said net income totaled $4.75 million, or 8 cents a share, in the period that ended June 24. That was down from $6.29 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding an adjustment related to the change in fair value of stock warrants, adjusted earnings per share totaled 7 cents in recent quarter compared to 5 cents in the year-ago quarter, the company said.
Revenue in the quarter fell 4.8 percent to $132.62 million.
While overall advertising and marketing revenue fell, the company saw growth in both digital advertising and subscription income.
"Digital advertising revenue increased 4.7 percent and represented 33.7 percent of total advertising revenue for the quarter," Lee President and CEO Kevin Mowbray said in a release. "Subscription revenue increased 1.6 percent in the quarter through our premium content offerings and acquisitions in the prior year.”
Lee reduced its debt by $16.5 million in the June quarter, bringing its overall debt to just under $500 million as of June 24. Aggressive cost-cutting is helping. During the quarter, Lee said it was able to shave compensation by 8.5 percent on a same property basis, primarily as a result of a reduction in staffing levels.
Much of that debt is a legacy of Lee’s acquisition of the Post-Dispatch from Pulitzer Inc. in 2005.
Lee does business in 49 markets.
To review the full earnings release, go to: lee.net