The earnings season has started, and first off the block: Gannett. The largest newspaper publisher in the country reported an 8.3 percent decline in Q2 earnings on stock compensation expenses, softness at papers it owns in Britain as well as higher costs for newsprint and interest payments.
It earned $310.5 million in the 13 weeks ending June 25, down from $338.6 million in the comparable period a year ago. Revenue climbed 6.1 percent to $2.03 billion from $1.91 billion a year ago.
On the earnings conference call, CEO Craig Dubow said the company was continuing its discussions about increasing its stake in CareerBuilder, but he declined to comment further. CFO Gracia Martore said a resolution of the matter was likely by the end of the quarter.
From the conference call transcript, via SeekingAlpha: Online revenues for the company were up about 29% for the quarter, with domestic community newspapers contributing to that growth, an increase in online revenue of 27%. Online revenue growth in its broadcasting segment was up 63%, and USAToday.com grew 21%.
On PointRoll and PlanetDiscover online acquisitions: Point Roll already is contributing. Their growth rate year-to-date on the bottom line has been over 100%. Obviously that’s off a few million dollar base, but still it is a very important piece of the puzzle. Planet Discover is more the technology part of it, and what it will drive is our local online revenue growth that we’re able to achieve. Already, just in some of the things that we’re doing, Sue Clark-Johnson reported at mid-year media review I think, that our local online revenues were up over 30%. So this will just be another opportunity for us to turbo-charge those local revenue growth.