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EARNINGS ROUNDUP

Newspaper Publisher Gannett's Profit Falls 9%

January 28, 2006|From Associated Press

Gannett Co. reported a 9% decline in fourth-quarter earnings Friday because of expenses from its swap of newspapers in Detroit and the absence of election-year advertising.

The publisher of USA Today and 90 other daily newspapers in the U.S. reported earnings of $343 million, or $1.44 a share, in the quarter ended Dec. 25, compared with $378 million, or $1.47, a year earlier.

Still, the earnings beat Wall Street's consensus estimate of $1.41. Gannett's shares rose $2.59, or 4.2%, to $63.60 on Friday.

Revenue increased 6% to $2.05 billion in the quarter. The company said this reflected the change in Detroit, in which Gannett acquired the Detroit Free Press from Knight Ridder Inc. and sold the smaller Detroit News to MediaNews Group.

Gannett said quarterly newsprint costs increased about 15%, two-thirds of which stemmed from higher prices and the rest from increased use.

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