Archive for October, 2007

GCI beats profit forecast, misses on revenue

October 17, 2007

And it released no additional news on a restructuring, something I’d speculated about last month. Gannett reported earnings of $1.01 a share in the third quarter, beating Wall Street’s forecast by a penny. But it missed on the top-line results: Revenue fell 4% to $1.81 billion from $1.88 billion last year. Analysts had expected $1.82 billion.

The company’s statement is here. The Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required) has now filed a story, here.

I’ll take a closer look at the results later, after I’ve had a chance to listen to the conference call with Wall Street analysts. Meanwhile, investors seem somewhat pleased; GCI shares were up slightly in early trading.

Also out today: the monthly statistical report for September, which shows slight improvement for the company’s newspaper advertising revenue compared to a year ago (losses eased a bit), but a return to declines for the company’s flagship, USA Today.

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Scripps split adds pressure on GCI

October 17, 2007

Yesterday’s announcement by E.W. Scripps that it plans to split into two — one company with newspapers and TV stations, the other with cable and other digital properties — puts renewed pressure on Gannett, which reports third-quarter earnings this morning. Scripps’ move follows a similar one by Belo earlier this month.

I wonder if a similar move by GCI would have the same stock-boosting effect, however. (Scripps closed up a whopping 8.6% after Tuesday’s announcement.) For one thing, Scripps and Belo aren’t as dependent on newspaper revenues, so they may be better positioned to carve out viable digital companies from their non-paper assets.

Gannett, by contrast, got nearly 83% of its $1.9 billion in revenue from newspapers during the second quarter. The balance came from TV stations and other non-paper revenue sources. A spinoff such as Scripps is often a pre-cursor to an outright sale. But who would buy the behemoth of GCI papers in a similar spinoff?

For more on these spinoffs, the New York Times’ DealBook blog has a nice summary, here.