Gannett Anticipates Profit for 3Q09

McCLEAN, VA.: Gannett said today it expects to post net income of between $93 million and $100 million, sans special charges, for the third quarter ending Sept. 27. After-tax special charges are expected to come in between $26 million and $32 million. Consolidated revenues are expected to come in at around $1.3 billion, down 18 percent from last year and in line with the 2Q09 year-over-year decrease. Divisional numbers weren’t broken out, but the broadcast segment is up against lucrative events from last year.

“Our broadcast comparisons reflect the almost total absence of Olympics and political advertising, which were approximately $50 million last year during the third quarter, partially offset by the near tripling of retransmission fees this year,” Gracia Martore, executive vice president and chief financial officer stated.

Total debt at the end of the quarter is projected at $3.31 billion versus $3.51 billion at the end of 2Q. Since the end of last year, Gannett (NYSE: GCI) said it’s debt has declined by around $504 million. It’s senior leverage ratio is expected to be in the range of 3.04 to 3.07x, well under it’s ceiling of 3.5x. The company anticipates its leverage ratio will remain beneath 3.5x for the remainder of 2009.

The preliminary 3Q results are subject to finalization; those results will be reported Oct. 19 before the markets open. Shares of Gannett gained 16 percent on the news, up from around $10 yesterday to $11.60 this afternoon.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

More on Gannett’s operations:
July 15, 2009:
Gannett 2Q TV Revenues Dip 20 Percent
Gannett TV revenues fell 20 percent in the second quarter compared to last year, with a similar slide expected for the third quarter, the company said today. Gannett’s 23 TV stations generated $148.4 million in 2Q09 compared to $184.8 million a year ago.

April 16, 2009Gannett TV Station Revenues Drop 16 Percent
Gannett’s 23 TV stations generated positive cash flow for the struggling media company in 1Q09. Operating cash flow was $52.7 million in 1Q09 for the stations and the company’s digital signage business combined. Broadcasting and DS revenues totaled $143.5 million in the quarter compared to $170.2 million in 1Q08. The decline was attributed to weakness in the auto and retail ad categories, and the disappearance of political advertising, which generated $5 million during the year-earlier period.
April 7, 2009Gannett Offers Higher Interest in Debt Exchange
Gannett said it has commenced a private exchange offer for $200 million in notes due in 2011 and 2012. The media company is offering to swap $1,000 in new 10 percent senior notes due 2015 for an equal sum of 5.75 percent notes due 2011. For every $1,000 of its 6.375 percent notes due 2012, Gannett will issue 10 percent senior notes due 2016.

March 23, 2009
Gannett Continues Compulsory Furloughs
Gannett is repeating the money-saving strategy of one-week furloughs in the upcoming quarter. The company employs around 31,000 people, who were required to take a week without pay during the first quarter of the year, saving the company a reported $20 million.

January 30, 2009: “Gannett TV Station Revenue Holds Steady
Gannett’s 23 TV stations pulled in $205.6 million during 4Q08, the McLean, Va., multimedia company said this week in preliminary results for the period. The stations edged out 4Q07 revenues by nearly 2 percent. Gannett nonetheless warned that 1Q09 results would likely be down year-over-year by roughly 15 percent.

Jan. 15, 2009
Gannett’s Game Plan
Virginia-based media empire Gannett said it will send its entire workforce home without pay for one week, and freeze wages for the year, to avoid cutting jobs. The payless period is supposed take affect during the first quarter of this year. Gannett (NYSE: GCI) has more than 31,000 employees; 3,000 cuts were announced last August. Craig Dubow, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett, is taking the furlough as well.