By: Mark Fitzgerald
Giving new earnings guidance at the Noble Equity Conference Monday, Gannett Co.executives led by Chairman Craig Dubow said the nation’s largest newspaper publisher expects to report second-quarter earnings at the high end of Wall Street expectations.
The revenue increase Gannett is projecting, however, is due almost entirely to increases in broadcast television and digital operations. Newspaper and other publishing revenue is expected to continue to be down year-over-year — but also continue the trend towards moderating declines.
“In publishing, we continue to see improving trends and the percentage decrease in revenues is anticipated to be in the low-to-mid single digits,” CFO Gracia Martore told analysts.
By contrast, she said, the percentage increase in television advertising revenue should be in the low twenties, with digital up in the “mid-single digits.”
Martore noted that most analysts’ earnings per share estimates for Gannett in Q2 are between 47 cents and 58 cents. “The company is comfortable that earnings per share from continuing operations, excluding certain tax items, will be toward the high end of that range,” Martore said.
At about 11:30 a.m. EDT, shares of Gannett (NYSE: GCI) were trading at $14.05, up 32 cents, or 2.3%.