Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Poor 4th Quarter Earns Gannett Co. S&P 500 Index Booby Prize

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 30:  Copies of USA T...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeUSA Today parent  Gannett Co., which counts 82 newspapers and nearly two dozen tv stations among its holdings, saw its stock plummet 6.9 percent yesterday, making the McLean, Va.-based media conglomerate the worst performer among the S&P 500 Index, Bloomberg News reports.

Gannett, which slashed its work force by 2 percent over the summer (see "TUOL" post 6/21/11) as readers continued to flock to online competitors Google and Facebook for information, suffered its fourth consecutive decline in quarterly revenues, plunging 5.3 percent in its publishing division.  Net income for the Fourth Quarter sank 33 percent, according to Bloomberg, to $116.9 million, or 69 cents a share, compared to $174.1 million, or 72 cents a share, a year ago.

The beleaguered media giant's sales dropped 5.1 percent to $139 billion. Gracia Matore, Gannett's former COO, assumed the helm last October after declining health prompted Craig Dubow to step down.

A far cry from the company's salad days when, on one occasion, USA Today founder Al Neuharth when asked whether the first or second syllable of the conglomerate should be emphasized when identifying the company responded: "It's pronounced 'money.'"
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