Kevin Mowbray

Lee Enterprises looks to widen use of cash beyond debt reduction; may include print, digital acquisitions

After reporting an upswing in third quarter earnings Thursday (8/3), Lee Enterprises, Inc. executives told analysts the company will look to widen the use of cash flow beyond debt reduction and may seek additional print or digital acquisitions.

The Davenport-based media company acquired its Quad Cities newspaper competitor, The Dispatch-Argus, in June for $7 million. The Dispatch-Argus primarily served the Illinois Quad Cities (East Moline, Moline and Rock Island), while the Quad City Times serves mainly readers in the Iowa Quad Cities (Bettendorf and Davenport).

"We expect the acquisition to be accretive to earnings and free cash flow in our September (4th) quarter," President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Mowbray said. "The transition is off to a good start and we are pleased with the contributions we are already seeing from the Dispatch-Argus."

Lee Enterprises second quarter earnings flat after adjusting for one-time insurance boost a year ago

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times – reported second quarter earnings Thursday (5/4) of $6.4 million, down 67 percent from the same period a year ago when a one-time insurance settlement added more than $13 million to the company's bottomline.

Net income for the three months ended March 26 was 11 cents per share compared with 36 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

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