McClatchy shares fall nearly 6 percent after earnings report

McClatchy shares fell nearly 6 percent Wednesday after the newspaper publisher reported a wider net loss in the first quarter.

McClatchy, owner of The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer, reported a net loss of $15.8 million, or 18 cents a share, versus a net loss of $12.7 million, or 15 cents per share, during the first quarter of 2013.

The company continues to struggle to offset declining print revenues with revenue from its digital initiatives.

Total revenues in the quarter were $287.2 million, down 2.7 percent from the same period last year. Advertising revenue declined 6.7 percent to $183.9 million, while circulation revenue increased 5.8 percent to $90.8 million. Digital-only revenues were up 11.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Earlier this month McClatchy announced that it is selling the Anchorage Daily News for $34 million. After the deal closes, the company will publish 29 daily newspapers in 14 states.

At the beginning of the second quarter, McClatchy also received $147 million from the sale of to the CoStar Group for $585 million. McClatchy ended the first quarter with $96.4 million in cash.

In a statement, CEO Pat Talamantes said the company’s financial position has been strengthened by the moves.

“The additional liquidity furthers our ability to continue to reduce debt and to focus more of our resources on accelerating our digital transformation,” he said.

Total debt at the end of the first quarter was $1.556 billion.

McClatchy shares closed Wednesday at $5.96, down 37 cents. The stock is up 75 percent this year.

Staff writer David Bracken

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