McClatchy Reports Q3 Profit, “Jarring” Decline In Revenue

McClatchy Co. earned $23.6 million this quarter, up from $4.2 million a year ago, but the newspaper publisher’s shares slid 16 percent to $3.36 in afternoon trading, the AP reports. Why?

“Investors are more concerned with McClatchy’s shrinking revenue than they are impressed with the publisher’s ability to shed expenses.” And excluding one-time gains, the difference between the owner of the Miami Herald’s Q3 2009 and Q3 2008 isn’t that different: the company would have earned $11 million this quarter compared to $10.4 million last year.

Revenue dropped by $104 million or 24 percent to $347 million, a fall the AP called “jarring,” as operating expenses declined 30 percent, or $124 million.

Ad revenue fell 28 percent this quarter, not much different from the 30 percent declines in the first half of the year. The AP (somewhat dryly, we assume) called these numbers “a troubling sign for the newspaper business.”