Lee Enterprises reports fiscal 1Q profit

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises says it made a profit in the most recent quarter, helped by an accounting gain and a smaller drop in ad revenue.

Lee, which owns the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and dozens of other newspapers, says earnings came to $27.9 million, or 62 cents per share, for its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 27. It lost $48.7 million, or $1.10 per share, a year earlier.

Stripping a $31.1 million accounting gain for lower medical liabilities and other one-time items, earnings came to 25 cents per share. That’s up a penny from the comparable figure a year ago.

It says revenue slid 14 percent to $209.8 million. But the advertising decline slowed to 16.4 percent, compared with a 21.6 percent decline in its fourth fiscal quarter.