February 22, 2010 / 2:21 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Valassis Q4 trails Street, outlook weak; shares fall

* Q4 EPS $0.48 vs est $0.53

* Q4 revenue $605.0 mln vs est $615.1 mln

* FY EPS view trails Wall Street view

* Shares fall 10 pct (Recasts; adds background, updates share movement)

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Valassis Communications Inc VCI.N, a distributor of newspaper inserts, posted quarterly results below Wall Street expectations, as sales fell in three of its segments, and kept its 2010 outlook, sending its shares down 10 percent.

The company maintained its 2010 earnings forecast of $1.61 a share, way below analysts’ expectations of $1.80 a share.

U.S. newspapers have been among the media sectors hit hardest by the slump in advertising, though recent results from big publishers show that revenue declines are easing as the economy improves and advertisers are taking ginger steps back into the market.

For the fourth quarter, the newspaper coupon company earned $24.0 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with a loss of $222.0 million, or $4.63 a share, a year ago. The prior year quarter included an asset impairment charge of $4.66 a share.

Revenue fell about 3 percent to $605.0 million. Sales at its shared mail, neighborhood targeted and free-standing inserts segments declined during the quarter.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 53 cents a share, on revenue of $615.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Livonia, Michigan-based Valassis were down $1.09 at $24.45 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a low of $24.02 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)

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