Belo Gains in Final Earnings Before Gannet Acquisition

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Belo Corp ( BLC), whic is being acquired by Gannett ( GCI), said earnings per shares fell year-over-year due to advertisement softness and costs related to the pending acquisition.

Belo was rising 0.5% to $14.23 to extend its 2013 advance to 85%.

Revenue fell 2.3% to $173.5 million year over year, coming in below the consensus expectation of $174.6 million. Core spot revenue came from telecommunication and automobile sources, which saw increases of 68% and 9%, respectively. Political revenue fell from $9.5 million in 2012 to $1.2 million this year. Advertisement revenue, including political, fell 4%.

"EBITDA was slightly below our expectation (at $56MM vs. our $57MM) but importantly, expenses were actually better than expected when we exclude GCI-related transaction costs (which we had not incorporated into our model)," wrote Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Marci Ryvicker in a note.

The television company would have reported earnings of $0.24 a share but came in lower after Gannett acquisition costs pushed the earnings down to $0.21, to meet expectations. The pending deal required Belo to pay net of tax of $2.7 million, or $0.03 per share. Gannet announced July 8th that it would be acquiring all outstanding Belo shares for $13.75, bring the acquisition price to $1.5 billion. Gannett will become the fourth largest major network affiliate owner as it takes control of ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX television stations.

No conference call was held due to the Gannett acquisition.

-- Written by Robert Arenella in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Robert Arenella.

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