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Gannett 4Q earnings, revenue decline

MCLEAN, Va. — Gannett Co. reported a 33 percent drop in its fourth-quarter net income Monday. The media company, which publishes USA Today and owns a network of broadcast, digital and other publishing properties, said profits were weighed down by restructuring costs and other charges, as well as a revenue decline.

The company earned $116.9 million, or 49 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 25. That’s down from earnings of $174.1 million, or 72 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Gannett’s stock fell 7 percent, or $1.07 to $14.15 in midday trading on Monday. It has traded in between $8.28 and $18.93 in the past 52 weeks.

Excluding special items such as restructuring charges, Gannett earned 72 cents per share in the latest quarter. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 68 cents per share, according to a poll by FactSet.

The company said its results reflected $63.6 million in charges related to workforce restructuring and facility consolidations at properties in the U.S. and the U.K. The largest charge was associated with the transfer of production of The Cincinnati Enquirer to a newspaper printer in Columbus, Ohio.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $1.39 billion from $1.46 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.39 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

“We are positioning for growth in print and digital media through new subscription models delivered across platforms, capturing opportunities in adjacent businesses, and continuing to focus on operational efficiencies,” said Gracia Martore, president and CEO, in a statement.

Revenue at Gannett’s publishing division fell 5 percent to $1.01 billion, a decline the company attributed to lower advertising amid the economic softness in the U.S. and the U.K.

Broadcasting revenue fell 14 percent to $199.8 million, due mainly to sharply lower political advertising than a year earlier.

Revenue at the company’s digital division, which includes the website CareerBuilder, rose 9 percent to $181.5 million.

Company-wide digital revenue, which consists of the digital division and revenue generated by newspaper websites, rose nearly 7 percent to $290.3 million.

For the full year, Gannett earned $458.7 million, or $1.89 per share, down 22 percent from $588.2 million, or $2.43 per share, in the previous year.

Adjusted earnings were $2.13 per share.

Revenue slid 4 percent to $5.24 billion from $5.44 billion.

Analysts were expecting full-year adjusted earnings of $2.10 per share on revenue of $5.25 billion.