This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Gannett Craters Despite Beating Street

Stocks in this article: GCI NYT MNI

(Gannett earnings story updated to include closing stock prices and details from the company's Monday conference call.)

MCLEAN, Va. ( TheStreet) -- USA Today publisher Gannett (GCI) turned in fourth-quarter results Monday that surpassed Wall Street expectations, but the stock dropped sharply nonetheless.

The newspaper chain, which also operates a slew of dailies in midsize cities across the country, appeared, at least on the surface, to affirm the conventional wisdom that the advertising recession had eased.

Gannett said revenue from print ads came to $790.8 million in the fourth quarter, down 18% from the same period of 2008, when it took home $963.4 million. In the second and third periods of the year, the company suffered ad revenue declines of about 30% compared to the corresponding year-ago periods.

Still, the comparisons with 2008 grew steadily easier as the year progressed. Many have argued that the ad recession -- though strongly exacerbated by the general economic gloom in the wake of the financial meltdown -- has been ongoing for years as reading habits shift from hardcopy to digital. Thus, the terrible numbers of 2009, including Gannett's fourth quarter, compare to already downtrodden figures from a year ago.

Further, Gannett's bottom-line performance has depended on a series of ferocious cost cuts and scaled-back content as the company laid off staff (24% of its workers in 2009), eliminated sections and reduced page counts throughout its many titles.

By the close of trading Monday, Gannett shares had lost $1.13, or 7%, to $15.02, after falling as low as $14.12 intraday. The stock enjoyed a torrid December, gaining more than 60% in value as investors ran up the stock in anticipation of an end to the ad recession. It's a trend that began as early as last summer, after Gannett and several other newspaper chains (including McClatchy (MNI), Lee Enterprises (LEE) and even the New York Times (NYT)) lifted themselves off the mat after a period when default and bankruptcy weren't out of the question.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs