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Original Source: FD (FAIR DISCLOSURE) WIRE
. Ruthellyn Musil, Tribune, SVP, Corporate Relations . Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune, Chairman, President & CEO . Don Grenesko, Tribune, SVP, Finance & Admin & CFO . Lauren Fine, Merrill Lynch, Analyst . Scott Smith, Tribune, President, Tribune Publishing . Debra Schwartz, Credit Suisse, Analyst . Alexia Quadrani, Bear Stearns, Analyst . Philip Olesen, UBS, Analyst . Paul Ginocchio, Deutsche Bank, Analyst . Steven Barlow, Prudential Equity Group, Analyst . Craig Huber, Lehman Brothers, Analyst . Jim Goss, Barrington, Analyst . John Reardon, Tribune, President, Tribune Broadcasting . John Janedis, Wachovia Securities, Analyst . David Lewis, JPMorgan, Analyst . Tim Landon, Tribune, President, Tribune Interactive
TRB reported 3Q06 GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations of $0.65 vs. $0.06 in 3Q05 and consolidated revenues declined 3%.
A. Key Data From Call 1. 3Q06 GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations = $0.65. 2. Repurchased 66m shares of stock in 3Q06.
S1. 3Q06 Operations Review (D.F.) 1. Overview: 1. In Sept., TRB agreed to restructure two complex partnerships, the TMCTs, that exist between the Co. and the Chandler Trusts. 1. This simplified TRB's capital structure, retired expense of preferred stock, and TRB was compensated for any potential tax exposure. 2. TRB reported that this was an excellent transaction for all shareholders.
3. Completing the unwind of the TMCTs puts TRB in better position to explore strategic alternatives. 1. This process is underway with a special committee of independent directors overseeing management's direction of the process. 2. Continued to move ahead on the performance improvement plan announced on 05/30/06 in conjunction with the leveraged recapitalization. 3. Sold or agreed to sell approx. $420m, including: 1. Sale of three television stations.
2. 2.8m shares of Time Warner common stock. 3. A printing facility in the San Fernando Valley. 4. TRB's airplane. 4. The most important element of the performance improvement plan
is driving topline growth. 1. Putting more emphasis on Interactive and targeted print products. 5. Tribune Interactive provides news and information on 16 news websites, as well as 25 television, 10 entertainment, and 16 mobile websites. 1. Combined, these sites drew almost 14m avg. monthly unique visitors during 3Q06.
6. In 3Q06, TRB increased its stake in CareerBuilder where robust
growth continues. 1. Network revenue grew by 29% over 3Q05. 2. CB reached 23m unique visitors in Sept. vs. 11m for Monster and 16m for HotJobs. 7. In targeted print products, TRB now owns 100% of amNewYork. 1. Distribution in and around New York City is about 320,000 copies daily. 2. The newspaper is expected to be profitable for full-year 2006. 8. Increased circulation for RedEye in Chicago by 50% to 150,000 copies daily. 2. Other Contributors to Topline Growth: 1. The LA Times distribution agreement with ADVO began in Aug. 1. This expands The Times' Insert program and will enhance the profitability of its preprint business by about $10m annually. 2. At Newsday, where preprint sales have dragged, the ad sales team won back the CVS drugstore business on Long Island from the sales agent TRB terminated due to an ethical breach. 1. This latest win following Waldbaum's provides Newsday some momentum to bring back other food and drugstore business.
3. In ROP advertising, customers are responding well to newly
created ad positions that include section-front advertising
opportunities and back-page positions. 1. These are already generating several million dollars of incremental revenue. 4. In television, the CW Network is off to a promising start. 1. In New York, LA, and Chicago, America's Next Top Model is beating all competitors in the target demo of women 18-34. 2. The strong lead-in from the CW has helped improve the competitive position of TRB's late newscast. 3. Expense: 1. During 3Q06, cost controls remained tight, with consolidated expenses up just 1% despite $4m of stock-based compensation. 2. Over the longer-term, in 2007-2008, TRB looks to keep expenses flat, while at the same time keeping quality and customer service high. 1. By year-end, TRB's eight largest newspapers will have outsourced their circulation call centers. 2. Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, and Orlando Sentinel have launched the first phase of TRB's new common advertising system. 1. This upgrades efficiency and will include a sophisticated e-Commerce platform for selling classified ads via TRB newspaper websites.
3. Made reasonable capital investments for common editorial and
circulation systems that will put TRB in a leadership position on quality and efficiency.
S2. 3Q06 Financial Review (D.G.) 1. Highlights: 1. GAAP diluted EPS from continuing operations was $0.65 vs. $0.06 in 3Q05.
1. 3Q06 results included a net non-operating gain of $0.22 per …