Gannett Beats Q2 Earnings Forecasts With Help From Political TV Ads

Gannett typically kicks off the earnings season for media companies. And while the story it tells this morning for Q2 is far from cheery — revenues and profits are down for the No. 1 newspaper publisher — it’s also not as bad as Wall Street feared. The company reported net income of $135.6M, down 18.1% vs the period last year, on revenues of $1.31B, -2.1%. The revenue figure is slightly short of the $1.32B analysts projected. But earnings per share, excluding special items for this year and last year, came in at 56 cents, ahead of the consensus forecast of 52 cents. Gannett’s broadcasting unit, which includes 23 TV stations, provided most of the good news. Its revenues were up 11.4% to $205.4M — including a $9M boost from political ads. But even if you factor out political spots, ad sales would have been up 6.2% with strong demand from auto makers, the company says. Gannett forecasts that ad sales in Q3 will be up “in the low-thirties… benefiting from the Summer Olympic (more…)

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