The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Washington Post beat expectations on revenues and crushed expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue dropped and GAAP earnings per share contracted.
Margins dropped across the board.
Washington Post booked revenue of $1.06 billion. The one analyst polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted sales of $1.04 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 11% lower than the prior-year quarter's $1.19 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $8.75. The two earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $5.84 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $8.03 for Q4 were 15% lower than the prior-year quarter's $9.42 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 16.8%, 5,250 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 10.1%, 250 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.8%, 80 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.97 billion. The average EPS estimate is $17.14.
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 202 members out of 257 rating the stock outperform, and 55 members rating it underperform. Among 98 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 75 give Washington Post a green thumbs-up, and 23 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Washington Post is hold, with an average price target of $365.00.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.