January 5, 2009

Lee is 'more profitable than Exxon' ... but still broke

Is the cup half full, or half empty? Both; it's all in how you look at things.

And so, for balance, here's another view of Lee Enterprises, parent corporation of the Journal Times. As we've reported ad nauseam, the financial woes are piling up, the Devil is at the door. But along comes blogger Alan Mutter, writing in his news media blog Reflections of a Newsosaur, with a different perspective.

Mutter points out that Lee is more profitable than Exxon!
Its operating margin of 20.1% surpasses that of Exxon Mobil Corp., which generated a 19.1% margin in the last 12 months. And Lee’s profitability positively blows away Wal-Mart, the largest Fortune 500 company, whose margins were only 7.4% in the prior 12 months.
True, but small consolation to stockholders who've lost 99% of their investment. For all its operating profit, Mutter writes, Lee is still in hock up to its ears, but "let’s not forget that there is a reasonably robust business here."

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who has followed the financial course of newspapers know that newspapers historically have had about the largest profit margin of any industry...low 20%, while paying it's professional news staff historically low wages.

    Now you know why the movie Citizen Kane is so apropos to the newspaper industry.

    chris dorf