SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) management noted today that it expects a continuation of the improving advertising revenue trends that began in the third quarter of 2009. Advertising revenues in the fourth quarter are expected to be down in the low- to mid-20s percent range compared to down 28.1% in the third quarter and 30.2% in the second quarter.
Gary Pruitt, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "In addition to improving revenue trends, we expect cash expenses to be down in the high-20s percent range in the fourth quarter as we continue our focus on permanently reducing our costs. As a result, we expect operating cash flow in the fourth quarter to grow compared to last year. Similarly, in 2010 we expect to at least maintain if not grow operating cash flow."
McClatchy also noted that the sale of land in Miami that is contractually set to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009, remains uncertain. Pruitt said, "We hope the buyer will be able to close this deal, but if that doesn't happen we are entitled to a $6 million termination fee on top of the non-refundable deposit of $10 million we have already collected. We are in discussions with the buyer now and will let our investors know when this matter is resolved."
McClatchy management will review the company's business and strategies in a presentation at the UBS 37th Annual Global Media & Communications Conference at the Grand Hyatt New York today at 9 a.m., Eastern time. The company's presentation will be webcast live on its website, www.mcclatchy.com, and on www.ibb.ubs.com. McClatchy's webcast presentation will continue to be archived at its website for future reference.
The McClatchy Company is the third largest newspaper company in the United States, with 30 daily newspapers, approximately 50 non-dailies, and direct marketing and direct mail operations. McClatchy also operates leading local websites in each of its markets which extend its audience reach. The websites offer users comprehensive news and information, advertising, e-commerce and other services. Together with its newspapers and direct marketing products, these interactive operations make McClatchy the leading local media company in each of its premium high growth markets. McClatchy-owned newspapers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and The News & Observer (Raleigh).
McClatchy also owns a portfolio of premium digital assets, including 14.4% of CareerBuilder, the nation's largest online job site, 25.6% of Classified Ventures, a newspaper industry partnership that offers two of the nation's premier classified websites: the auto website, cars.com, and the rental site, Apartments.com and 33.3% of HomeFinder, LLC which operates the real estate website HomeFinder.com. McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.
Statements in this press release regarding future financial and operating results, including revenues, anticipated savings from cost reduction efforts, future dividend payments, cash flows, debt levels, as well as future opportunities for the company and any other statements about management's future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates" and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including: the duration and depth of the economic recession may reduce its income and cash flow greater than expected; McClatchy may not generate cash from operations, or otherwise, necessary to reduce debt as expected; McClatchy may not achieve its expense reduction targets or may do harm to its operations in attempting to achieve such targets; McClatchy's operations have been, and will likely continue to be, adversely affected by competition, including competition from internet publishing and advertising platforms; McClatchy's expense and income levels could be adversely affected by changes in the cost of newsprint and McClatchy's operations could be negatively affected by any deterioration in its labor relations, bankruptcies or financial strain of its major advertising customers; McClatchy's ability to maintain compliance with NYSE listing standards, including the NYSE share price standard and compliance with its market capitalization and stockholders' equity standards; as well as the other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's publicly filed documents, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 28, 2008, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. McClatchy disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking information contained in this release.
SOURCE The McClatchy Company