Gannett Inc.'s (GCI) fourth-quarter profit jumped 30% as revenue held up and the bottom line benefited from fewer charges and lower costs.
The publisher of a host of newspapers, including USA Today, continued to benefit from cost cuts and revenue growth at its broadcast and digital operations.
But most newspaper publishers continue to suffer as their audiences and advertisers migrate to the Internet and continued job-market woes weigh on consumers. To be sure, declines in print advertising have largely moderated from the year-over-year drops reported early last year.
In the latest quarter, publishing advertising revenue slid 5.9% while circulation revenue dropped 4.1%. But the broadcasting segment saw revenue jump 27% while the digital business posted a 5.2% gain.
Companywide, Gannett reported a profit of $174.1 million, or 72 cents a share, up from $133.6 million, or 56 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items such as facility consolidation and writedowns, earnings rose to 83 cents from 70 cents. Last month, Gannett said it expected to report earnings at the high end of the 72-cent to 82-cent range predicted by analysts.
Revenue edged up 0.4% to $1.46 billion. Analysts were expecting $1.47 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
Gross margin widened to 48.3% from 46.2%. Operating costs dropped 4.2%.
Shares closed Friday at $15.19 and were inactive premarket.
-By Matt Jarzemsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2240; firstname.lastname@example.org