Political advertising boosts Gannett earnings

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THE TAKE: McLean-based Gannett Co. Inc. reported a strong fourth quarter in which, excluding special items in both years, earnings per share rose from 72 cents in 2011 to 89 cents in 2012. The increase in profit was driven in part by political advertising at the company’s television stations during the presidential election.  The company saw its first year-over-year increase in revenue since 2006. Total digital revenue across Gannett increased 29 percent and represented 25 percent of total revenue.

Operating revenue: $1.52 billion in the fourth quarter, up 9.4 percent from the same quarter the year before. For the full year, revenues totaled $5.35 billion, up 2 percent from 2011
Net income: $103.1 million in the fourth quarter, up from $100 million in the same quarter the year before.
Earnings per share: 44 cents per share for the fourth quarter, compared with 49 cents the same quarter in 2011. Excluding special items, EPS rose from 72 cents to 89 cents.

THE COMPANY’S TAKE: “Our strategy is gaining momentum, our investments are bearing fruit and we are achieving the results we expected. We enter 2013 with our businesses performing well and poised for even greater success going forward. We remain confident we are well positioned to achieve our goals and to continue delivering on our promise to return increased value to shareholders,” Gracia Martore, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

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