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Elections Goose Gannett Earnings

The newspaper conglomerate tops Wall Street's estimates.
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Mid-term election fervor goosed fourth-quarter earnings at

Gannett

(GCI) - Get Gannett Co., Inc. Report

, the nation's largest newspaper conglomerate, as a flurry of political advertising boosted revenue.

The publisher of

USA Today

said its fourth-quarter profit rose to $353.5 million, or $1.51 a share, from $343.3 million, or $1.44 a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 7.5% to $2.2 billion for the period.

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Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.49 a share and revenue of $2.15 billion, according to consensus estimates reported by Thomson Financial.

"A record level of politically related advertising demand for the quarter drove strong revenue growth in our broadcasting segment," said Gannett in a press release. "Our results, however, were unfavorably impacted by higher newsprint, stock compensation and interest costs."

The company's newspaper publishing revenue rose 4.9% for the quarter to $1.94 billion from $1.85 billion. Newspaper advertising revenue was up 3.7% to $1.45 billion.

Broadcasting revenue increased 30% to $270.6 million, helped by higher online revenue.

At

USA Today

, the nation's largest newspaper by circulation, fourth-quarter advertising revenue rose 13% from last year. Paid advertising pages totaled 1,348, up from last year's 1,226. For the full year, USA Today's advertising revenue increased 3.1% and paid pages totaled 4,387.

Shares of Gannett recently were up $1.12, or 1.9%, to $59.06.