Gannett (GCI): USA’s Largest Newspaper Company Takes A Hit

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Even though the market expects poor results from newpaper companies, the actual results can come as a shock. Gannett (GCI) is off over 5% to a 52-week low of $15.93 on poor numbers.

GCI preliminary 2008 second quarter earnings per diluted share from continuing operations were $1.02 compared with $1.24 per share in the second quarter of 2007. The preliminary results, however, do not include non-cash charges to be recorded in the quarter, which have not yet been finalized, for the impairment of goodwill, other intangible assets and certain other assets

Total operating revenues for the company were $1.72 billion in the second quarter compared to $1.91 billion in the second quarter of 2007.

At USA TODAY, advertising revenues declined 16.6 percent in the second quarter compared to the year ago quarter. Paid advertising pages totaled 831 compared with 1,034 in the same quarter of 2007.

Internet ad revenue was not front and center in the company’s earnings release, which probably says a mouthful.

Due to the news, shares in Gatehouse (GHS) are off almost 5% to $.99. Shares in McClatchy (MNI) are down 2% to $4.61, and shares in Lee (LEE) are selling down over 1% to $3.17.

Douglas A. McIntyre