Lee reports lower revenues, earnings in 2nd quarter

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch-Argus newspapers – today (5/3) reported lower revenues and earnings for the second quarter despite "strong performance in digital retail."

Second quarter earnings were $2.5 million, 4 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 25, compared with $6.4 million, 11 cents per share, for the same period a year ago, according to the company news release.

Advertising and marketing service revenue declined 7.7 percent to $71.5 million in the second quarter, resulting in a 4.2 percent drop in total operating revenue for the Davenport-based media company.

Offsetting some of the revenue decline was a 2.1 percent increase in subscription revenues to $46 million and lower operating costs, including a 7.2 percent drop in compensation expenses and a 9 percent decline in newsprint and ink expenditures. Overall, operating expenses for the quarter decreased 3.5 percent compared with the second quarter of 2017.

"Digital advertising revenue increased 2.7 percent and represented 31.9 percent of total advertising revenue for the quarter" President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mobray stated in the company's earnings news release. "This was driven by strong performance in digital retail and a 25.5 percent increase in programmatic advertising."

The company continues to reduce its long-term debt, paying down an additional $15.6 million in the second quarter. Lee's debt totaled $516 million as of March 25.

Lee operates 48 newspapers and online news sites, and 300 specialty publications in 21 states.

CLICK HERE to read the full news release and quarterly financials.

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