Newspaper publisher Journal Register Co. said today its first-quarter profit leaped on a gain from the sale of newspapers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Earlier this year the Journal Register completed the sale of its two daily community newspapers and five non-daily publications in Massachusetts to GateHouse Media, Inc. The final sales price was approximately $70 million in cash and approximately $2 million of working capital. The daily newspapers included in the sale were The Herald News located in Fall River, Massachusetts and the Taunton Daily Gazette located in Taunton, Massachusetts.
Net income for the period ended April 1 surged to $29.1 million, or 74 cents per share, compared with $1.8 million, or 4 cents per share, in the previous year.
Excluding the sale, adjusted earnings for the current quarter were $1.5 million, or 4 cents per share.
The current quarter benefited from a $27.7 million gain from the sale of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island newspapers.
Journal Register, which is based in Yardley, Pa, decided to sell its newspaper assets in the two states during December and January, closing on the sales in February.
Quarterly revenue sagged 5 percent to $114.1 million versus $120.3 million a year ago. Consensus estimates put revenue at $115.1 million.
Total advertising revenue slipped to $86.4 million from $92.7 million, while newspaper revenue fell to $109.3 million from $115.8 million. (AP)