The Washington Post Co. reported second-quarter profit of $84.9 million ($8.82 per share), up from $60.6 million ($6.32) in the second quarter last year, primarily fueled by gains in the company's education division, The Post Co. said yesterday.

Second-quarter revenue for 2004 stood at $818.4 million, up from $706.9 million.

Profit for the first half of 2004 was $144.3 million ($14.98), up from $133.7 million ($13.91) in the first half of 2003. First-half revenue was $1.58 billion, up from $1.35 billion.

Post Co. stock closed up $21.40 yesterday, at $867.90 per share. It closed at a high of $965.08 per share in early June.

The Post's Kaplan Inc. -- which administers test-preparation courses, runs professional training schools and has an online law school -- booked $29.4 million in second-quarter operating income on $277 million in revenue, up from $3.5 million in operating income on $196 million in revenue.

The company said about 27 percent of Kaplan's revenue increase is attributable to acquired businesses.

At The Post newspaper, a 1 percent quarterly gain in overall advertising revenue (including a 21 percent gain in help-wanted classified revenue) offset a 7 percent increase in newsprint cost, giving the company's newspaper division (which includes The Post, the Everett (Wash.) Herald, the suburban Maryland Gazette papers, the free daily Express and others) a 2 percent gain in second-quarter operating income, to $37.7 million on $234 million in revenue.

Circulation at The Post continued to decline, falling 3.3 percent in the Monday-Saturday editions through the first half of 2004 and 2.6 percent for Sunday. Post circulation now stands at 721,100 daily and 1.02 million on Sundays.

Operating income rose last quarter at The Post Co.'s six-station television group, owing to political advertising, and at Cable One, which sells cable service to about 712,000 subscribers primarily throughout the South and Plains, because of increased sales of cable modems and digital service.

Advertising at the company's online division, primarily, was up 39 percent, at $15.4 million. The company expects the Web site to become profitable for the first time in the coming months.

Revenue at Newsweek magazine was off 1 percent at $91 million, but operating income was up 42 percent to $17.6 million, attributable to an increase in ad rates and cost-cutting at the magazine's international edition.

* Human Genome Sciences Inc. said its losses widened by 20 percent for the quarter ending June 30 as research and development spending grew and the company took a charge for staff layoffs. The loss was $58.5 million (45 cents a share) compared with a loss of $47.4 million (37 cents) in the second quarter of 2003. The Rockville biotechnology company, which has no products on the market, said revenue remained flat at $644,000. Shares in the company rose 2 cents to close at $10.03.

* CompuDyne Corp., a Hanover security company, said it earned $90,000 (1 cent a share) in the second quarter, down from a $1 million (13 cents) profit in the comparable 2003 quarter. Revenue fell to $37.8 million from $47.5 million. CompuDyne said it expects revenue of $150 million to $155 million for 2004. Shares of CompuDyne rose 14 cents to close at $9.44.

* Alliance Bankshares Corp. of Chantilly reported total assets as of June 30 of $485.3 million, up from $375.4 million a year earlier. Profit for the quarter was $659,000 (13 cents per share), compared with $1.2 million (35 cents) in the same quarter a year earlier. For the first six months of 2004, profit was $1.3 million (28 cents) compared to $2.3 million (68 cents) for the first half of the previous year.