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Scripps Networks Declines After Sales, Profit Miss Estimates

Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., the cable-programming company that owns HGTV, the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, fell the most in more than a year after fourth-quarter sales and earnings missed estimates.

Profit from continuing operations climbed to 84 cents a share in the period, the Knoxville, Tennessee-based company said today in a statement. Analysts had predicted 92 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose to $605 million, missing the average estimate of $613.9 million.

The shares fell 3.7 percent to $59.97 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day decline since November 2011. The stock has climbed 3.5 percent this year.

Scripps’s advertising revenue, its biggest source of sales, only rose 5.1 percent last quarter -- a deceleration from the 10 percent growth it posted in the third quarter. Affiliate fees, the payments it gets from cable providers for airing its shows, climbed 18 percent last quarter.

“The real disappointment in the fourth-quarter results was advertising,” said Paul Sweeney, a senior media analyst with Bloomberg Industries. “Ad spending growth of 5 percent was well below the double-digit growth the company experienced over the past four quarters.”

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