McGraw-Hill (NYSE:MHP), perhaps still best known as the publisher of BusinessWeek, has apparently devised an ingenious way for media companies to boost earnings: Operate a financial-services division as well, and let that segment carry the load with a little help from an education group.

That's precisely what occurred at the company, which doesn't quite live up to its media-company label. McGraw-Hill increased second-quarter net income 25.4% to $277.1. The diluted per-share earnings figure for the quarter increased by 31.7% to $0.79, vs. the prior year's $0.60. Revenue for the latest period rose 12.5% to $1.7 billion.

A big lift in financial services stood out among results for the company's three operating divisions. Financial revenue increased 21.2%, while operating profit rose 27.9%. The lion's share of the revenue increase for the unit came from growth in structured finance and corporate and government ratings.

The education unit also checked in with solid results, growing its operating profit 18.7%, with healthy contributions from the school education group and the professional markets. Only the testing market displayed any sort of slippage.

In addition to BusinessWeek, McGraw-Hill's information and media unit comprises such strong entities as J.D. Power, Platts, McGraw-Hill Construction, and Aviation Week. The old-line business magazine's 20% year-over-year decline in advertising pages couldn't keep the total operating group from chalking up a 13.1% hike in operating profits.

Thanks to its diverse holdings, McGraw-Hill must contend with only a few of the difficulties faced by such publishing enterprises as Gannett (NYSE:GCI), Tribune (NYSE:TRB), and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI). Unfortunately for the company, however, the market decided on Tuesday to "reward" its strong June results with a more than 5.5% shellacking. In addition to general market conditions, culprits in the share-price slide seemed to include a possible expansion of credit-market woes, and a warning by the company that "...the growth rate will probably slow during the second half of the year as compared to our very strong first half performance."

Is the company still worth Foolish investors' attention? I believe that McGraw-Hill benefits from the balance its operating units provide, and I know of few companies that can boast a 44% return on equity in the presence of a strong balance sheet. I'd recommend keeping the company on your watch lists, and perhaps nibbling at a position on a further pullback.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't have positions in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or kibitzing. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is a textbook example of sound conduct