* Adj EPS 89 cents vs Street estimate 88 cents
* TV revenue up 46 pct, circulation revenue rises 24 pct
* Shares down 5.3 pct
By Jennifer Saba
Feb 4 Gannett Co Inc on Monday reported
a better-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue on strong
advertising sales at its television stations and as more
subscribers paid to read its newspapers online.
Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the United States,
posted revenue of $1.52 billion versus $1.38 billion in the
year-earlier period, and topped analysts' expectations of $1.49
billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Part of the increase in revenue had to do with an extra week
in the quarter, compared to the same period last year.
Investors sent shares down 5.3 percent at $18.79 in morning
trade, likely stripping out the extra week and seasonal
political advertising from the results.
"It was not like they blew out expectations," said Evercore
analyst Doug Arthur. "It's a little bit of a mixed bag with an
Morningstar analyst Jocelyn Mackay pointed to Gannett's
publishing assets as a potential culprit for the selloff.
Even with an extra week, which allows the company to sell
more advertising, ad revenue at its newspapers fell 2 percent.
"That is a concern," said Mackay.
The industry has suffered through several years of punishing
ad declines, with no reversal in sight.
Gannett said publishing ad revenue fell 5.6 percent in
October, 7.4 percent in November and 6.7 percent in December.
Like many newspapers, Gannett is getting more of its readers
to pay for news to help defray a severe loss in advertising
revenue. It started charging readers to gain access to some of
its content online, a trend that is now commonplace among
At its 82 U.S. newspapers that include USA Today, The
Arizona Republic and The Des Moines Register, circulation
revenue jumped 24 percent, including contributions from digital.
At its 23 TV stations, revenue climbed 46 percent to $280.2
million because of an influx of $91.2 million in political
Net income totaled $103 million, or 44 cents per share,
compared with $116 million, or 49 cents, for the same period
Excluding special items, earnings came to 89 cents per share
compared with 72 cents in the same period last year. Analysts
were expecting EPS of 88 cents.