Good news from Gannett - really

Shares of Gannett Co. (GCI), the world's largest newspaper publisher, rose more than 16 percent in pre-market trading after the company reported better-than-expected second quarter results.

Net income at the McLean, Virginia-based parent of USA Today was $70.5 million, or 30 cents a share, compared with a loss of $2.29 billion, or $10.03 per share. Revenue plunged 17.8 percent to $1.41 billion.

The bottom line figures include loads of gains and charges related to the publisher's debt exchange, laying off worker and consolidating facilities and writing down the value of assets. Excluding these items, profit was 46 cents, beating Wall Street consensus estimates of 36 cents.

Even so, the numbers themselves were bad in many ways.