Gannett Falls Most in 2 Months as Profit Falls 25% on Ad Revenue

Monday, 16 Apr 2012 11:27 AM

 

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Gannett Co., the owner of 82 daily newspapers including USA Today, fell the most since January after reporting a 25 percent drop in first-quarter profit as advertising sales declined.

Gannett dropped 8.2 percent to $13.81 at 10:45 a.m. in New York, for the largest decline since January 30. The shares had risen 12 percent this year before today.

Net income fell to $68.2 million, or 28 cents a share, from $90.5 million, or 37 cents, a year earlier, the McLean, Virginia-based company said today in a statement. Sales dropped 2.6 percent to $1.22 billion, missing the average analyst projection of $1.24 billion.

Revenue from the publishing division, the largest unit, decreased 6 percent as advertising and circulation fell. Chief Executive Officer Gracia Martore, who took over in October, is struggling to revive revenue growth as the newspaper industry as a whole continues to lose ad business to Internet companies such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Profit excluding some items declined to 34 cents a share in the quarter ended March 25. Analysts predicted 31 cents, the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Gannett fell 4.8 percent to $14.32 at 9:39 a.m. New York time. The stock had gained 1.5 percent in the past year before today.


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