Broadcasting Unit Lifts Gannett's Q3 Profit

Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) reported fiscal third-quarter results before markets opened this morning. The USA Today publisher posted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.56 on revenues of $1.31 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.44 on revenues of $1.27 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.53 and $1.29 billion in revenues.

Publishing segment operating revenues in the quarter declined 3% to $890.2 million, while advertising revenues totaled $552.7 million, a 6.6% decline from the previous year.

The company's president and CEO said:

We achieved record third quarter results in our Broadcasting segment. Our TV stations leveraged top 10 ratings positions and a more locally focused sales effort to generate substantially higher Olympic spending. Through strong ratings and a great footprint, they also maximized the opportunity to attract political spending. The early success of our new, all access content subscription model resulted in significant growth in company-wide circulation revenue, the first increase since early 2007.

The consensus estimate for the fourth quarter calls for EPS of $0.82 on revenue of $1.42 billion. For the full year, EPS is reckoned at $2.21, which would be up 3.6%, on revenue of $5.26 billion, which is about the same as a year ago.

Gannett shares are inactive in premarket trading. The closed at $17.90 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $9.82 to $19.99. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $19.25 before today's report.