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Washington Post Profits Up 14 Pct.

October 22, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Washington Post Co. reported a 14 percent rise in third-quarter earnings on gains from selling cable systems and a stake in an Internet-related business.

The media company said Thursday it earned $81.8 million, or $8.05 per diluted share, in the July-September quarter. In the same period last year, earnings were $71.6 million, or $6.64 per share.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $509.3 million from $478.4 million.

The recent quarter’s results were boosted by $30.9 million from the sale 14 cable systems in Texas, Missouri and Kansas, and the sale of the company’s interest in Junglee, a provider of electronic shopping services for Internet sites.

Last year’s third-quarter earnings included a $16 million gain from selling rights to broadcast some professional basketball and baseball games.

Excluding those gains from both quarters, this year’s earnings slipped 8 percent. The decline was due to lower advertising at Newsweek and the company’s television stations because of strikes against General Motors Corp, as well as higher newsprint expenses, new media spending and costs to expand printing facilities of The Washington Post.

For the first nine months of the year, The Washington Post Co. earned $353.5 million, or $34.79 per share, up from $190.6 million, or $17.57 per share, last year. The gain was due mostly to gains from the sale of its stake in Cowles Media Co.

Revenue rose to $1.52 billion from $1.43 billion.

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