Scripps Networks Exceeds Q1 Expectations As Programming Costs Rise

The home of HGTV and the Food Network seemed to deliver in Q1. It had net income of $157M, up 8% vs early 2011, on revenues of $535.3M, up 11.3%. The revenue figure compares to Wall Street’s expectation of $519.4M. And earnings per share at 73 cents beat the forecast of 60 cents. The company says that ad sales rose 10% to $356M while fees from pay TV providers were up 16% to $168M. That outweighed the 17% rise in expenses, which Scripps attributes to programming costs as well as investments in “a number of planned growth initiatives.” Food Network cooked up strong results with revenues up 14% to $199M. HGTV, which struggled to find its footing in the anemic housing market, was up 8.4% to $186M. Great American Country continues to vex investors: Its revenues fell 23% to $5M. CEO Kenneth Lowe says that the Q1 results reflect “the strong relationships we’ve forged with media consumers, advertisers and content distributors.”

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