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The McClatchy Q1 Earnings Call Transcript
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Last Update: 9:38 AM ET June 03 2010

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Revenues fell 8.2% to $335.6 million and net income was $2.2 million or 3 cents a share. Operating cash flow nearly doubled to $81.9 million and our operating cash flow margin was 24.4%. National advertising declined 7% compared to a 19.8% decline in the last quarter of 2009.


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The McClatchy Company (MNI)
Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
April 22, 2010 12:00 p.m. ET

Executives

Elaine Lintecum – Investor Relations
Gary B. Pruitt – Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Patrick J. Talamantes – Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Christian A. Hendricks – Vice President, Interactive Media

Analysts

Alexia Quadrani – J.P. Morgan
Craig Huber – Access 342
Ken Silver – Royal Bank of Scotland
Matthew Swope – Broadpoint Capital
Scott Wipperman – Goldman Sachs
Andrew Steinerman – J.P. Morgan
Robert Kricheff – Credit Suisse
Jonathan Levine – Jefferies & Company
Barry Schwartz – Chatham Asset Management
Edward Atorino – The Benchmark Company
Harry DeMott - Knighthead Capital
Tim Dagget – Citigroup
Sharon Hill – AIM Group

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon. My name is Victoria and I will be your conference Operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the The McClatchy First Quarter 2010 Earnings Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker’s remark, there will be a question-and-answer session. If you would like to ask a question during this time, simply press star then the number one on your telephone keypad. If you would like to withdraw your question, press the pound key. Thank you. Ms. Elaine Lintecum, you may begin your conference.

Elaine Lintecum

All right. Thank you all for joining us today for our first quarter conference call. The call is being webcast at mcclatchy.com and that webcast will be archived for future reference. Joining me today is Gary Pruitt, our Chairman and CEO, our Vice President of Operations, Bob Weil and Frank Whittaker, our Vice President of Interactive Media, Chris Hendricks, and our Vice President and CFO, Pat Talamantes. We''re all available for questions at the end of Gary''s remarks. We''ll be sticking to the one question per participant rule. If you have follow-up questions, I will be available and can be reached at 916-321-1846.

The earnings release and statistical report were issued this morning before the market opened. It includes a summary of our unaudited results and the full text of that release, and the statistical report are posted on our website for your convenience. We''ve also posted reconciliation of non-GAAP amounts that will be discussed on the call this morning. They are reconciled to the most direct linked comparable GAAP measure in the schedules that are on the website.

As a reminder, this conference call will contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risk and uncertainties, including among others, those described in the company''s 2009 annual report on Form 10-K. Actual results may differ materially from those described during the call. Now, here is Gary Pruitt, our CEO.

Gary B. Pruitt

Thanks, Elaine. Hello everyone. For the first quarter of 2010, we reported net income of $4.8 million or $0.06 per share, excluding charges related to debt refinancing and restructuring related severance. This compares to a net loss of $22.9 million or $0.28 per share excluding unusual items in the first quarter of 2009. Much of the financial improvement we reported came from improving revenue trends.

Total revenues in the first quarter 2010 were down 8.2%, compared to a decline of 16.5% in the fourth quarter of 2009. Advertising revenues in the first quarter declined year-over-year by 11.2%, compared to a 20.5% decline in the fourth quarter of 2009 and a 28.1% decline in the third quarter of 2009.

Moreover, ad revenues within the first quarter also showed an improving trend, down 12.9% in January, 10.6% in February and 9.7% in March. Digital advertising revenues grew 2.2% in the first quarter.

In addition to improving revenue trends, we continued to be vigilant in reducing expenses. We reduced cash expenses in the first quarter by 21.3%, excluding severance. The combination of improving revenues and strong cost control resulted in a significant gain in operating cash flow this quarter.

Operating cash flow nearly doubled to $81.9 million and our operating cash flow margin was 24.4%. Completing our debt refinancing was an important accomplishment in the first quarter, and we look forward to discussing it with you.

But first, let''s look at our operating results starting with revenues by category. Retail advertising was down 11.5% in Q1 compared to a decline of 20.3% during the fourth quarter of 2009. The declines in our print advertisings were partially offset by strong growth in digital advertising.

Digital retail advertising was up 9.4% in Q1. Classified advertising was down 13.8% this quarter, an 11.2 percentage point improvement from the fourth quarter of 2009. The improvement is consistent across all regions and in all categories of classified testing.
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