First-quarter revenue totaled $54.1 million, down from $84.2 million a year earlier, a decline of 36%. Ziff Davis Publishing, a division of the company that includes such stalwart titles as PC Magazine and eWeek, posted earnings of $5.1 million before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring charges, compared with $10.9 million of EBITDA a year earlier.
The results from the most recent quarter, as chairman-CEO Robert F. Callahan pointed out in a statement, did beat Ziff Davisâ previously announced guidance of $3 million to $5 million. The closing of Smart Business is part of an effort to cut costs. In its publishing division, the company trimmed selling, general and administrative costs to $23.8 million for the quarter, compared with $40.5 million a year earlier, a reduction of 41.2%.
But that may not be enough to save the company, industry observers said. Ziff Davis is undergoing what these observers describe as essentially a bankruptcy proceeding to restructure the company and its debt obligations. If it can get approval from 95% of its bondholders by June 25, the company can be restructured without a visit to bankruptcy court. In an April Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company said it had 60% of bondholders already in agreement with the restructuring.