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Washington Post Profit Drops 22% on Kaplan Decline

Washington Post Co., 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.

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