Strong performances by Gannett’s television stations helped overcome weakness in the company’s core newspaper business as the company beat Wall Street expectations for the third quarter, Deadline.com reports.
“The company reported net income of $148.6M, up 32.9% vs the period last year, on revenues of $1.31B, +3.4%. Revenues were slightly ahead of the $1.29B that analysts anticipated,” the story reports. “And earnings, excluding unusual events, came in at 56 cents a share — beating the 53 cents that company watchers forecast.”
Gannett, the largest independent owner of NBC affiliates, had $37 million in ad sales associated with the London Olympics, along with $41.7 million in political advertising and $22.3 million in retrans consent payments from pay TV distributors, the story notes.
“All told, the broadcasting division generated $237.0M in revenues (+36%) with operating income of $118.7M (+73.1%),” the story reports. “Gannett needed the boost: Revenues at its publishing division, which includes USA Today, fell 3% to $890.2M, with operating income of $73.7M, down 31.7%. Ad sales at the U.S. publishing operations dropped 6.%%; with the 7.4% decline at UK-based Newsquest they were down 6.6% to $552.7M.”
The report adds: “Gannett’s digital segment — which includes CareerBuilder — saw a 4.7% increase in revenues, to $182.0M, while operating income rose 16.2% to $34.4M.”
Said CEO Gracia Martore: “Our results this quarter demonstrate that the growth strategy we announced in February is gaining traction. In September we re-launched our flagship USA Today brand, which has been re-imagined and redesigned for today’s consumers and advertisers. We are seeing early successes and making great progress in positioning Gannett for growth in the digital era.”