Chris-Craft doubles yearly earnings

Earnings at Chris-Craft Industries Inc. jumped more than a third in its fourth quarter and more than doubled for the year, as the broadcaster posted strong operating numbers and rang up big profits from selling Time Warner Inc. shares.

In the quarter, operating income from the TV division rose 73% to $ 25.3 million.

Chris-Craft upped the wing’s revs 4% while cutting programming expenses 3%. The division’s annual operating income tripled to $ 87.8 million.

“The record-shattering performance of our television division is especially gratifying, as it was achieved in the midst of intensifying competition for viewing audiences and advertising dollars,” said Herbert J. Siegel, Chris-Craft chairman and prexy.

BHC Communications Inc., Chris-Craft’s 70%-owned TV broadcasting subsidiary, also posted huge gains from the sale of its Time Warner stock, earning $ 2.9 million in the quarter, down from $ 28.5 million a year earlier; and $ 256.6 million for the year, up from 1992’s $ 94.1 million.

For the quarter, Chris-Craft earned $ 24.1 million (64 cents), vs. $ 17.7 million (48 cents) in the period a year ago. Revenue was $ 116.4 million, up from $ 110.5 million.

For the year, the company earned $ 149.1 million ($ 3.99), vs. $ 65.2 million ($ 1.74) in 1992. Revenue was $ 439.7 million, up from $ 331.5 million.

The ’93 results include a full year’s operations from WWOR-TV, the New York superstation Chris-Craft acquired in August 1992. Even so, aggregate earnings at the seven other stations climbed 104% as revenue grew 8% and programming expenses fell 10%.

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