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What: Shares of The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE:SSP) were moving higher again today, gaining as much as 12% after turning in a better-than-expected first-quarter earnings report this morning.
So what: The diversified media company posted a loss per share of just a penny against expectations of a $0.12 per-share loss and an improvement from a $0.05 loss a year ago. Revenue, meanwhile, ticked up 2.6% to $203.8 million, beating estimates at $201.6 million. CEO Rich Boehne said the nascent political advertising season has helped drive up TV revenue, and the company also saw its third straight quarter of newspaper subscription growth, indicating stabilization in that segment.
Now what: For the current quarter, Scripps expects TV revenue and expenses to increase in the high-single digits, and newspaper revenues and expenses to be flat. That guidance was essentially in line with expectations, and did not include its recent acquisition of a TV station in Buffalo and Detroit for $110 million. That addition will give Scripps 21 local TV stations across the country. Considering the upside bottom-line result in the past quarter, the political advertising income ahead, and the two newly acquired TV stations, Scripps appears to be taking meaningful steps toward profitability.
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