U.S. News

Gannett Expects Fourth-Quarter Earnings in Line with Forecasts


Gannett, publisher of USA Today, said its fourth-quarter earnings would likely be in line with Wall Street forecasts.

The media company, which publishes about 90 daily U.S. newspapers, expects fourth-quarter earnings to be at the higher end of a range of $1.46 to $1.49 a share.

Analysts on average expect the company to earn $1.49 a share, excluding special items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Along with other publishers, Gannett has made a bigger push into the Internet in the hope of offsetting a decline in circulation at traditional newspapers. Gannett said advertising should increase at USATODAY.com by 18% to 20% next year.

Ad Revenue Woes

Gannett also said it is trying to build its international digital business, even as its British newspapers continue to struggle.

Speaking at the Credit Suisse Media Week Conference, Chief Financial Officer Gracia Martore said its British newspaper division "has had a challenging year, but signs point to stabilization and modest recovery," according to a news release.

"An improving revenue trend line, coupled with strong expense restructuring, has resulted in a positive impact to the bottom line," she added.

For 2007, Gannett expects the British unit's advertising revenues to be slightly higher, while circulation revenue is expected to drop slightly.

In the United States, meanwhile, Gannett's newspapers excluding USA Today should see advertising revenues rise with a slight drop in circulation revenues.

USA Today's advertising pages are expected to be down slightly for 2007, with rates up in the 6% range, it said.