CapCities/ABC sees jump in 4th-qtr.

Capital Cities/ABC reported yesterday that its fourth-quarter earnings rose 34% to $ 137.9 million, but its annual earnings were depressed by one-time charges.

Revenues at the company rose 6% in the fourth quarter of 1992, compared to the same period a year ago, although revenues for the year were down slightly when compared with 1991.

CapCities stock yesterday closed up $ 2.75 at $ 481.

The earnings dip for the year was not totally unexpected. Back in December, company CEO Daniel Burke predicted flat earnings and said then that net income for the year wouldn’t be materially better than the year before.

Annual earnings, after one-time charges of $ 143.2 million, came to $ 246 million, down 28% from the previous year. Excluding extraordinary charges, earnings for both the quarter and year were up slightly.

The company said that during the quarter, and retroactive to Jan. 1, 1992, it adopted two accounting changes that resulted in the one-time charge against earnings. Before the charge, its per-share earnings were $ 8.38 for the quarter, up 4% from $ 8.03 in the previous year.

For the year, earnings were $ 389.3 million before the accounting changes, up from $ 374.7 million in 1991. The 1992 figures represent per-share earnings of $ 23.45, up from the $ 22.33 reported in 1991.

Year-end revenues dropped slightly to $ 5.34 billion from $ 5.38 billion in 1991. Revenues for the fourth quarter were up to $ 1.64 billion vs. the $ 1.56 billion generated in the ’91 quarter.

Revenues in the broadcasting segment for the year were down to $ 4.27 billion , vs. $ 4.33 billion in ’91. Revs were up 6% in broadcasting for the fourth quarter, rising to $ 1.36 billion vs. $ 1.28 billion for the last quarter a year ago.

Net revenues for the TV network increased moderately during the quarter, while the TV stations increased slightly.

Video operations reported significant gains, which was attributed to growth at ESPN. Radio revenues were down slightly.

On the year, revenues at the television network were down slightly, partially because of a lack of revenue from major sporting events. Station revenues were up slightly, while the radio division suffered a drop. Video operations were up.

Company’s publishing wing increased revenues in the fourth quarter and for the year.

Operating income for the quarter was $ 238,673,000, down from $ 260,166,000 in for the same period last year. For the year, operating income was $ 721,805, 000, down from $ 761,233,000 for a comparable period a year ago.

Improved earnings and revenues at the TV network were offset by a provision for staff reduction, resulting in a small operating earnings decline for the quarter.

TV station operating earnings were flat for the quarter; radio operating earnings dropped “modestly.” Video operating earnings were up slightly and publishing earnings dropped 10% for the quarter.

For the year, operating income at the TV network declined “significantly,” while the TV stations and radio operations saw “small” earnings declines. Video ops posted moderate gains, and publishing’s earnings rose 11% in 1992.

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