Washington Post Profit Drops 22% as Kaplan Enrollment, Ad Sales Decline

Washington Post Co. (WPO), publisher of the namesake newspaper, said fourth-quarter profit fell 22 percent after enrollment at its Kaplan education unit and print advertising sales declined.

Net income decreased to $61.7 million, or $8.03 a share, from $79 million, or $9.42, a year earlier, the Washington-based company said today in a statement. Revenue declined 10 percent to $1.06 billion.

The Kaplan business, the largest unit accounting for about 60 percent of revenue, has come under government scrutiny along with the rest of the for-profit education industry. Enrollment at Kaplan university and higher-education campuses fell 23 percent from a year earlier. Print ad sales at the Washington Post newspaper decreased 6 percent in the quarter.

Washington Post dropped less than 1 percent to $387.31 at 10 a.m. in New York. The shares had increased 3.2 percent this year before today, compared with an 8.4 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. was the company’s largest outside shareholder with 27 percent of outstanding shares as of Dec. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edmund Lee in New York at elee310@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ville Heiskanen at vheiskanen@bloomberg.net

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