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Lee Enterprises 2Q loss widens

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- Lee Enterprises Inc., publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers, on Tuesday reported a wider loss for its latest quarter due to costs associated with an exit from bankruptcy.

The company said it lost $26.6 million, or 54 cents per share, for the fiscal second quarter that ended March 25. That compares with a loss of $1.5 million, or 3 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

Excluding refinancing and reorganization costs, Lee lost $1.3 million or 3 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $909,000 or 2 cents per share a year ago.

Revenue fell 3.6 percent to $172.3 million, from $178.7 million a year ago. Advertising revenue declined 5.3 percent to $117.5 million, while circulation revenue rose 0.1 percent to $44.9 million. The digital portion of advertising revenue rose 9.9 percent to $15.7 million.

Lee filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec.12 to compel a small minority of its lenders to agree to a refinancing plan that gives the company more time to repay about $1 billion in debt. The plan was finalized on Jan. 30, which allowed the company to exit bankruptcy court protection.

Shares of the Davenport, Iowa, company fell 9 cents, or 6.9 percent, to $1.22 in afternoon trading.