Blog Post

Earnings: WSJ Online Subs Up 8.8 Percent Over 2Q04; Electronic Publishing Outearns Print

The Wall Street Journal Online continues to grow its sub base, up 8.8 percent to 744,000 in 2Q05. You won’t see this in the earnings release, but the increase of 60,000 subscribers is the largest annual increase since 1Q02. Overall, Electronic Publishing revenues jumped to $128.4 million, 33.5 percent year over year — propelled by the acquisition of MarketWatch and revenue increases from all EP units. Operating income was up 28.1 percent over 2Q04, again linked to the acquisition and “organic growth” of Consumer EP and Indexes. Operating margin dipped to 22.9 percent from 23.8 percent in 2Q04.
But the EP revenue/income increases weren’t enough to counteract the declines on the print side. Dow Jones turned in 2Q05 revenue of $454.2 million, up 3.7 percent over 2Q04, and operating income of $38.9 million — down 30.9 percent. Even excluding special items, operating income declined 10.7 percent. Revenue for Print Publishing was down $18.3 million for the quarter and nearly $40 million for the first year. Those decreases combined with EP’s gains means that the digital operations brought in slightly half as much in 2Q05 as print, a significant change from 2Q04 when print brought in more than 2.5x the amount of digital. The segment, which contributed more operating income than print in 2Q04, outearned print three times over in 2Q05: $29,385 to $7,224.
More after I have a chance to listen to the conference call.
Earnings release. Financial tables. Webcast replay.