LEE reported a large earnings loss for the quarter due to a non-cash impairment charge for writing down certain items. They reported a loss of $1.71/share. Ex-items, they made $0.25/share in the quarter which is a strong result considering this is historically their second weakest quarter. Revenue on a comparative basis to last year was down 2.8% so the revenue decline continues.
Some good things in the release. Cash flow remains very strong as operating cash flow was $160.7M for the year and FCF was $82.7M for 2013. Debt as reported was down $26M in the quarter. During 2013, LEE paid down $98.4M and their cash position improved by $3.5M YOY. Interest payment decreased $4M in the quarter and this trend should continue next year. Also, pension liabilities declined $38M so they expect very little cash needing to be contributed to fund pensions in 2014. That should allow for an additional $5M to go toward debt repayment next year. Digital revenue continue to grow, but has not offset the declines in print as of yet.
LEE has a lot of things going in a positive direction. If they can turn their revenue slide, this stock will skyrocket. They earned $0.47/share in 2013 and should be able to do better next year.