Dow Jones' third-quarter earnings plummet 85%

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New York--Citing a steep decline in advertising revenue at The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Co. Thursday reported third-quarter earnings plunged 85% and warned of a sharp drop in fourth-quarter earnings and pending job cuts.

Dow Jones reported net income of $2.4 million, or three cents a share, compared with $16.7 million, or 19 cents a share, in last year's third quarter. Results for the latest period included a charge of $2.9 million, or three cents a share, related to a contract guarantee. Excluding this item, the company earned six cents a share, two cents below the mean estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial First Call.

Revenue fell 11% to $352.4 million, from $397.6 million a year earlier. Advertising linage at The Wall Street Journal fell 12%, and the company said it expects a decline in the fourth quarter in the mid- to high-teen percentages.

"Factors driving the weak global advertising environment, which remain largely beyond our control, continue to weigh heavily on our Wall Street Journal print businesses," Dow Jones Chairman-CEO Peter R. Kann said in a statement.

--Matthew Schwartz

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