Gannett (NYSE: GCI) is warning investors that profits and revenues are continuing to fall. The McLean, Va.-based owner of USA Today and dozens of other local papers expects net income, excluding special charges, to range between $93 million ($0.39 per share) and $100 million ($0.42 per share) for the third quarter. (In Q308, Gannett posted profits of $158 million, or $0.69 per share). On the revenue front, Gannett anticipates the final tally to come in somewhere between $1.31 billion and $1.32 billion — either way, it’ll be down nearly 20 percent from last year’s $1.64 billion.
Updated: While the numbers aren’t great, Gannett’s projections indicate confidence that it would beat analysts’ forecasts, such as the one compiled by Bloomberg, which expect earnings per share of $0.31, while Thomson Reuters analysts consensus anticipates EPS of $0.29. Apart from that new, investors also seemed to cheer Gannett’s separate announcement that it had priced a $500 million bond sale. That would be its second issuance this year, as it looks to pay off some the debt that’s coming due within the next two years.
Gannett demonstrated it is making headway on the debt, which it says will be down to $3.31 billion from $3.51 billion at
the end of the Q2. Since the end of last year, Gannett’s debt has declined by $504 million.
The company didn’t offer any specifics on ad revenues, suggesting that things could get worse. It said revenues from the help-wanted site CareerBuilder and the digital segment overall are expected to be lower in Q3 as well. The company enjoyed a bit of a turnaround in Q2, when it was able to post a profit after months of intense cost-cutting. Gannett offered no preview on what sort of cuts, if any, it is looking at for the rest of the year.