McClatchy reported significantly less net income in the fourth quarter as the newspaper publisher continued to be hurt by a decline in print advertising.
Excluding certain items, McClatchy, owner of The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer, reported net income of $11 million, versus net income of $29.4 million, during the fourth quarter of 2013.
Total revenues in the quarter were $317.6 million, down 5.9 percent from the same period last year. Advertising revenue declined 10.8 percent to $209.2 million.
CEO Pat Talamantes said in a statement that the company’s fourth quarter results were hurt by the “continuing sluggishness in the print retail environment and also reflected a difficult comparison to the 2013 fourth quarter, our strongest quarter for revenue performance in 2013. Additionally, national advertising remains a challenging category across the industry for regional newspaper companies.”
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Like other newspaper publishers, McClatchy has been struggling to offset declining print revenues with revenue from its digital initiatives. The company now gets nearly two-thirds of its revenue from from sources other than print newspaper advertising.
McClatchy’s digital-only advertising revenue increased 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter when you exclude Apartments.com-related revenue from 2013. McClatchy received $147 million from the sale of Apartments.com last year.
McClatchy reduced its debt by $523 million in the quarter, largely with proceeds from the Apartments.com sale, the sale of the Anchorage Daily News and the sale of its interest in Cars.com, which netted it $347.5 million after taxes.
The company’s total debt now stands at $1 billion.
For the year, McClatchy’s revenue declined 3.9 percent to $1.168 billion. Total advertising revenue was down 8.4 percent.
McClatchy shares were up about 2 percent in early trading Wednesday. The stock is down 35 percent over the past year.