Gannett 1Q Net Profit Falls 43 Percent

MCLEAN, Va. (AP) -

Gannett Co. said Wednesday that its first-quarter net profit dropped 43 percent, pulled down by restructuring costs, but its adjusted profit managed to beat Wall Street predictions by a penny.

The media company, which publishes USA Today and owns dozens of newspapers and other media stations, posted a net profit of $59.2 million, or 25 cents per share, compared with $104.6 million, or 44 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013.

Excluding costs related to job cuts, restructuring of operations, tax charges and other one-time items, Gannett said it posted adjusted profit of $108.4 million, or 47 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, expected an adjusted profit of 46 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 13 percent, to $1.4 billion from $1.24 billion, boosted by the company’s acquisition of Belo Corp. Analysts had expected $1.41 billion.

Revenue at the company’s broadcast division nearly doubled, to $382.3 million, mainly as a result of the Belo acquisition. It also got a boost from higher advertising demand stemming from the Winter Olympics and increased spending on political ads. The company’s retransmission revenue, which it receives from cable and satellite operators for allowing them to relay its broadcasts, was also higher.

Meanwhile, revenue at the company’s publishing division fell 3 percent to $842.1 million. Gannett attributed the decrease partly to the effects of bad weather on advertising and circulation demand in some markets, along with the effects of changes in this year’s seasonal calendar.

Advertising revenue fell 5 percent to $501.3 million, while circulation revenue edged down 1 percent to $282.1 million.

But the company posted a 3 percent increase in revenue at its digital division, to $179.7 million, helped by strong results at its CareerBuilder website.

Companywide digital revenue, which included the digital division and digital revenue generated by other businesses, rose 6 percent to $375.6 million.