Scripps Q4: Cable Strong; Local Papers, TV Lousy

Boosted by cable networks like HGTV and the Food Network, Scripps (SSP) missed its consensus revenue targets but beat consensus EPS for Q4. The bad news: Both those numbers represent y/y decreases, and just about everything at the company that isn’t connected to the cable business is in lousy shape.

Scripps posted Q4 revenue of $679 million, down slightly from $683 million in 2006; Wall Street was looking for $683 million. EPS was 75 cents, an 8% drop from last year, but 5 cents better than consensus.

Quick summary:
Cable networks: Revenue up 14%, profits up 21%; online advertising revenue up 22%.
Newspapers: Revenue down 9.6%, profits down 12%.
Local TV: Revenue down 19%, profits down 37%.
Interactive: Revenue down 7.8%, profits down 11%. Scripps blames the decline on its online energy company USwitch; says they are “encouraged” by progress much-maligned shopping engine Shopzilla.

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