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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Penton's Q2 

Summary of PENTON MEDIA INC.

Penton's second quarter results have been released (see link, above). Through the first half, revenues are up 4.9% to $101.9 million, and adjusted EBITDA increased 14% to $25.4 million.

There are a number of timing issues which affected results--four magazines shifted publishing dates and squeezed in additional issues into the period, and some conferences which occured in the first quarter of the prior year shifted to the second quarter of the current year. But excluding the magazine timing shifts, and excluding prior year revenue from magazines and events that were shut down last year, revenues grew 4.7%.

Penton continues to make progress with online revenues, growing this 29% to $11.4 million for the first half. Online now accounts for 11% of overall revenues. Event revenues were up 12% to $22.4 million.

Timing issues always make analysis of financials difficult, but I think it's safe to say that Penton's print media properties are at best flat, but probably still experiencing overall declines. But this is more than offset by the company's focus on online and event revenues, both of which continue to grow nicely.

I continue to believe that the company's strategy and cost controls are working nicely, and if it weren't for the debt load and the itchy non-common shareholder investors, we'd be calling Penton Media a success story in its recovery. Instead, we'll see some form of sale, and a never-ending spiral of squeezing earnings hard to meet interest payments. I feel for Penton's management and employees--because they're actually doing a damned good job.

See this prior post, and its related comments.

And the usual disclosure: I continue to hold some shares of Penton stock, primarily because I committed that I wouldn't sell them.

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