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Saturday, November 3, 2012 - Page updated at 01:30 p.m.

Washington Post reports 3Q profit, reversing loss


The Associated Press

The Washington Post Co.'s stock jumped 5 percent Friday after the company reported a third-quarter profit, reversing a loss from the same period a year ago.

The media and education company reported net income of $93.8 million, or $12.64 per share, in the three months that ended on Sept. 30.

A year ago, the Post Co. booked a loss of $6.2 million, or 82 cents per share. The third quarter of 2011 included one-time charges of $3.5 million, or 44 cents per share, related to severance and restructuring at Kaplan. It also included a writedown of $14.9 million, or $1.89 per share, related to its stake in Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit education company separate from Kaplan. Excluding these items, the company would have earned $4.95 per share in that quarter.

The Post Co.'s latest quarter included a one-time charge of $7.6 million, or $1.02 per share, in early retirement, severance and restructuring costs at its newspaper publishing division and at its Kaplan education business. Still, there were fewer charges than last year.

Revenue in the most recent quarter was $1.01 billion, about the same as a year earlier.

The company's stock rose $17.05, or 5 percent, to $356.50 million in midday trading. The stock has traded between $323.29 and $405 in the past 52 weeks.

The company is best known for The Washington Post newspaper, but its Kaplan education business accounts for more than half of its revenue. Kaplan, which operates a range of educational services, including for-profit universities, was once a growing business. But recent federal regulations aimed at lowering student debt have led to lower enrollment at many for-profit schools where a large proportion of students borrow money to attend.

In response to government scrutiny, Kaplan schools have raised admissions standards and given students a trial period before they are required to pay. Kaplan has also changed the way it markets its programs.

Kaplan's higher-education division had 73,261 students enrolled as of Sept. 30, down 8 percent from 78,534 a year ago.

Revenue at the company's education division fell 8 percent from a year earlier to $552.6 million from $601.6 million.

At the Post Co.'s cable TV business, revenue grew 6 percent to $199.6 million from $187.9 million.

Revenue from newspaper publishing fell 4 percent to $137.3 million from $143.5 million.

Broadcast TV revenue rose 44 percent $106.4 million from $73.8 million due to improved advertising demand, helped by the presidential elections and the summer Olympics.

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