Lee Enterprises reports $1.3-million 4th quarter loss; says company had 'strong fourth quarter results'

Lee Enterprises, Inc. – owner of the Quad City Times and DIspatch/Argus – Thursday (12/8) reported a $1.32-million loss for the fourth quarter stating in its earnings news release the company had achieved "strong fourth quarter results."

Lee lost $1.32 million (32 cents per share) during the three-month period ended Sept. 28, and 90 cents per share ($2.73 million) for the company's fiscal year that ended Sept. 25.

Overall operating revenue for the fourth quarter fell 15 percent compared to the same period a year ago with print ad dollars plummeting 42 percent from the fourth quarter of 2022. Digital advertising revenue was up slightly for the quarter, while digital subscription revenue jumped 67 percent.

Operating expenses fell 21 percent for the quarter compared with the three-month period a year ago, boosting operating income to nearly $11 million for the quarter.

However, more than $10 million in interest expense on the company's $456-million debt resulted in negative earnings for the period.

Lee President and CEO Kevin Mowbray touted the company's growing number of digital subscriptions and increase in digital subscription revenues.

"Subscribers to our digital products totaled 721,000, up 36 percent compared to last year, and digital-only subscription revenue accelerated, growing 68 percent on a same-store basis," Mowbray stated in the earnings news release.

Lee operates newspapers and online news sites in 75 markets.

CLICK HERE to download full earnings news release.

Go to top