The Washington Post Company Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component The Washington Post Company (NYSE:WPO) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, November 4, 2011. The Washington Post operates as a diversified education and media company.

The Washington Post Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $3.85 per share, a decline of 68.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $5.26. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $3.85 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $15.59 per share, a decline of 58.1% from last year.

Last quarter, the company came in at profit of $5.92 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $5.87 per share, beating estimates after missing them in the previous quarter. In the first quarter, it missed forecasts by 5 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1 billion in revenue this quarter, a decline of 16% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $4.21 billion for the year, a decline of 10.8% from last year’s revenue of $4.72 billion.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit fell 50.3% to $45.8 million ($5.74 a share) from $92.1 million ($10 a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue fell 10.7% to $1.07 billion from $1.2 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income fall in each of the last three quarters. Net income fell 65.9% in the first quarter and 3.3% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has fallen for the past three quarters. Revenue fell 9.2% in first quarter from the year earlier and 3.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Career Education Corp. (NASDAQ:CECO), The Princeton Review, Inc (NASDAQ:REVU), Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:APOL), DeVry Inc. (NYSE:DV), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Grand Canyon Education Inc (NASDAQ:LOPE), Corinthian Colleges, Inc. (NASDAQ:COCO), National American Univ. Hldgs., Inc. (NASDAQ:NAUH), Strayer Education, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA), and Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (NYSE:BPI).

Stock Price Performance: During August 5, 2011 to October 31, 2011, the stock price had fallen $40.04 (-10.5%) from $380.20 to $340.16. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between November 30, 2010 and December 14, 2010 when shares rose for 11-straight days, rising 13.2% (+$48.43) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between September 15, 2011 and September 22, 2011 when shares fell for six-straight days, falling 8.8% (-$30.08) over that span. Shares are down $89.12 (-20.8%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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