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USA Today parent Gannett posts loss as print advertising comes under pressure

Adjusted earnings and revenue beat analysts' expectations
USA Today
Gannett shares were lower ahead of the opening bell

Gannett Co Inc (NYSE:GCI), the parent company of USA Today, reported a fourth quarter loss after recording a profit the same period a year ago.

The group said it had a net loss of US$13.6mln, or 12 US cents a share, compared to earnings of US$24.6mln, or 21 US cents a share, the previous year.

Print ad revenue down but digital ad up

Adjusted earnings came to 55 US cents, beating analysts' expectations of 46 US cents.

Revenue fell to US$854.2mln from US$866.9mln, but also exceeded market forecasts of US$853mln.

The company said print advertising revenue continued to come under pressure, falling 18.5% on a year ago and offsetting a 7.3% increase in digital advertising.

In the online marketing and advertising business, ReachLocal, revenue jumped 34.9%, thanks to strong growth in North America and the migration of Gannett clients onto the division’s platform.

"We are excited by the momentum in the ReachLocal North America business, especially with the newly migrated Gannett clients,” said Sharon Rowlands, chief executive officer of ReachLocal.

Rowlands added: “In 2018, we plan to capitalize on this significant opportunity with our newly aligned sales organisation, which we expect will drive revenue growth and margin improvement."

Gannett now expects 2018 revenue of US$2.93bn to US$3.03bn, compared to analysts’ estimates of US$3.02bn.

Shares fell 2.3% to US$11.26 each in pre-market trade.

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Gannett Timeline

April 16 2012

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