Friday, August 4, 2017

Gannett Reports Net Loss, Acquisitions Still Possible

Gannett, the owner of USA TODAY and 109 local news properties in the U.S., on Thursday, reported second-quarter results that beat Wall Street expectations.

The McLean, Va.-based company reported a net loss of $487,000, or breakeven results on a per-share basis, for the quarter ending June 25, reflecting the impact of restructuring, severance, acquisition and other costs. In the year-ago period, the company reported net income of $12.5 million, or 10 cents per share.

On an adjusted basis, the company reported a profit of 18 cents per share.  Analysts polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence expected adjusted earnings of 17 cents per share.

Total operating revenue rose 3.4% to $774.5 million, driven by contributions from acquisitions including the Milwaukee, Wis.-based Journal Media Group, and North Jersey Media Group.

Total advertising revenue rose 8.6% to $445.2 million. Digital revenue in the second quarter grew 43.5% year-over-year to $242.6 million, or approximately 31% of total revenue.Total circulation revenue fell 4.8% to $273.7 million. Digital-only subscriptions rose 59.5%.

Gannett CEO Robert Dickey noted just more than two years had passed since the spin-off of the publishing company from Tegna, the broadcasting and digital company. "We have taken many steps over the past two years to expand our digital presence, while also maximizing the economic value of our print offerings and driving operating efficiencies," he said in a conference call with analysts after the company released its financial results.

The company will also continue to look for suitable acquisitions, he said. "Where we see opportunities to enhance our digital capabilities from either a content or marketing service perspective, we are looking for acquisitions that make good financial sense and are the right strategic fit," Dickey said.

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