Gannett Co. Q4 Earnings Up 40%

MCLEAN, Va. (Reuters) - Gannett Co., the No. 1 U.S. newspaper publisher, on Thursday said fourth-quarter earnings jumped nearly 40 percent as increased advertising boosted its print and television operations.

At its flagship USA Today newspaper, the best-selling newspaper in the country, advertising revenue rose 2 percent from a year earlier, the first year-over-year gain since the 2000 fourth quarter.

Record political advertising contributed to a 27 percent jump in Gannett's television revenue in the fourth quarter.

The company, which publishes 94 newspapers and more than 400 non-daily publications in the United States, earned $347 million, or $1.29 a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $248.4 million, or 93 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, were expecting $1.28 per share, with estimates ranging from $1.26 to $1.29, according to a poll by tracking firm Thomson First Call.

Operating revenue in the quarter rose 7 percent, to $1.73 billion from $1.61 billion a year earlier.

Gannett stock, up 6 percent over the past year, closed at $71.51 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-03   Click to Comment   

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