Gannett (NYSE: GCI) is still assessing its big writedown announced last month, so technically its quarterly numbers are preliminary The USA Today parent reported Q2 revenue of $1.79 billion, down 9.9 percent from $1.91 billion in the year-ago quarter. Income from continuing operations fell 19.7 percent to $232.7 million ($1.02 per share) from $289.8 million ($1.24 per share). Ad revenue at the core publishing business was down 13.5 percent to $1.1 billion. The classifieds category, not surprisingly, was hit the hardest, dropping 18.7 percent. On digital, the company doesn't have much to offer data-wise, though it says in June it had 23.1 million unique visitors across its network of sites. We'll see if they offer more on the call.
As for the goodwill writedown, its expecting after-tax charges somewhere in the $2.4-$2.7 billion range. One other note: Gannett says it purchased 581,000 of its own shares in the quarter and 2.1 million year-to-date. While share repurchases reduce the float (boosting EPS) and signal confidence, given the performance of its sharesdown over 55 percent year-to-datethese purchases haven't been a successful use of capital.
By Joseph Weisenthal