The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) today reported a net loss from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2009 of $37.7 million, or 45 cents per share. Adjusted for certain items, (1) the loss from continuing operations was $22.9 million, or 28 cents.
Net loss from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2008 was $993,000, or one cent per share. Adjusted for certain items, (1) earnings from continuing operations were $2.8 million, or three cents in the first quarter of 2008.
Revenues from continuing operations in the first quarter of 2009 were $365.6 million, down 25.1% from the first quarter of 2008. Advertising revenues were $284.7 million, down 29.5% from the first quarter of 2008, while circulation revenues were up 0.9% to $68.5 million.
Results in both the 2009 and 2008 quarters include certain unique items. Compensation in 2009 included $19.7 million in severance and related charges incurred in connection with the restructuring plan announced by the company on March 9, 2009, while the 2008 quarter included $2.1 million related to restructuring programs last year. Interest expense in the 2008 quarter included a write-down of $3.4 million of deferred financing costs related to an amendment of the company's bank credit agreement. Both years also included adjustments related to discrete tax items.
The company noted that on April 15, 2009, it retired $31 million of unsecured notes which had matured. McClatchy has no other debt maturities until 2011, expects no required pension contributions until 2010, and has suspended cash dividends. Management expects to use cash primarily for debt repayment for the remainder of 2009.
Click here to see the entire press release. CEO Pruitt and management are participating in a conference call at 12 noon EST, so more info will be coming out later.
It looks like a negative report at first glance -- analysts had expected revenues would be $391 million, but McClatchy pulled in just $365.6 million for the quarter, a massive 25% drop from a year ago.
UPDATE: Here are links to other summaries: Editor & Publisher; Wall Street Journal; Associated Press.
UPDATE #2: A commenter says at first glance the report looks negative, but at the second glance it looks like an epitaph.