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Gannett Earnings Still Newsworthy

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Coca-Cola's (KO) earnings are on everyone's mind Tuesday, and the company did not disappoint.

Coca-Cola (the drink, not the company) was on my mind constantly just two weeks ago, while in the Dominican Republic on a 10-day trip. My appetite destroyed, the only thing I craved was Coke.

Served in glass bottles, it is made with pure cane sugar in the Dominican, not corn syrup as it is in the United States. What a difference in taste. Fortunately, Costco (COST) sells Mexican Coke, made the same way, by the case, and it's worth the extra cost.

Now that I've had the pause that refreshes, there was another earnings release that, like Coca-Cola, I've had my eye on.

As a value investor, one quarter's results typically mean very little to me. But in this case, it's a name that has garnered little respect but has managed to beat estimates often in the past three years. With each successive quarter, as the name continues to do a bit better than analysts expect on the earnings front, we get a bit closer to investors regaining some respect for the company. At least that's my hope.

The company is Gannett (GCI), best known for newspapers, and in particular for being the parent of USA Today.

Therein lies the reason that investors are not enamored with the company -- the newspaper business has not been a great place to be. Advertising has been in the toilet, and some prefer to get their news on the net.

While I will always be a newspaper reader, it's clear that the industry's best days are indeed behind it. But there is more to Gannett than newspapers, and furthermore, the company has been proving that it can still generate significant amounts of free cash flow, pay generous dividends and buy back shares.

Second-quarter revenue, announced Monday, fell 2.1%, in line with estimates. However, earnings came in at 56 cents a share, ahead of the 52-cents consensus estimate. The publishing segment is continuing to show weakness, and revenue fell 5.8%.
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