Washington Post Crushes Earnings Estimates

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Washington Post (NYS: WPO) reported earnings on Feb. 24. Here are the numbers you need to know.

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.

Revenue details
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.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
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.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
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.

Looking ahead
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $3.97 billion. The average EPS estimate is $17.14.

Investor sentiment
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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At the time this article was published 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 ofMotley 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.

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