Gannett Craters Following Earnings

Gannett shares fall 10% despite sizable gains in second-quarter earnings.
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(Article updated with information on first-half earnings.)



) --


(GCI) - Get Report

shares plunged 10.6% today and was one of the market's biggest price losers despite announcing a triple-digit gain in earnings for the second quarter.

Lower expenses and the completion of the sale of some of its businesses sent earnings for the publisher of

USA Today

skyrocketing. For the quarter ended June 27, earnings rose more than 150% to $195.5 million, or 81 cents a diluted share, compared with earnings of $70.5 million, or 30 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue declined 1.6% to $1.37 billion from $1.39 billion during the quarter.

Advertising revenue for the company's publishing unit, the company's largest business segment, declined 5.7% to $692.2 million from $734.2 million. U.S. ad revenues were down 4.6 percent while revenue for U.K. subsidiary Newsquest were down 6.4%

USA Today

advertising revenue was lower as softness in the travel category continued. However, improvements were seen in the automotive, retail and packaged goods areas. The number of paid advertising pages came in at 580 compared with 602.

Publishing circulation revenue, its second-largest segment, also dropped 5.9% to $270.1 million from $287.1 million.

While its two largest segments struggled, the company made significant gains in its digital and broadcasting businesses. Digital revenue increased 8.3% to $154.1 million from $142.4 million while broadcasting revenue spiked 20.3% to $184 million from $153 million.

"Stronger core advertising demand and increased political spending drove revenue growth in broadcasting while positive revenue results at




contributed to revenue growth in the digital segment," said Craig Dubow, chairman and chief executive officer.

Television advertisement drove the broadcasting segment with sizable increases in automotive, retail, packaged goods and political advertising. Management believes television advertising revenue will up in the mid-twenties in the third quarter.

For the six months to date, earnings rose more than 100% to $312.7 million, or $1.30 a share, compared with earnings of $147.9 million, or 64 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue slid 2.8% to $2.66 billion from $2.74 billion. Ad revenue for the publishing segment dropped 6.8% to $1.34 billion from $1.44 billion. Publishing circulation revenue also fell 5.5% to $549.1 million from $581.2 million.

Again, Gannett made significant gains in its broadcasting business, with revenue jumping 18.6% to $351.5 million from $296.5 million.

The company also announced plans for a local advertising partnership with



. Gannett has agreed to sell Yahoo! advertising inventory and give local advertisers a chance to reach more viewers. Gannett hopes that the partnership will help expand its digital reach.

Shares of Gannett finished the day down 10.6% to close at $13.50 a share.

-- Reported by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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