Why Gannett Shares Dropped

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Gannett (NYSE: GCI  ) were getting torn up today, falling as much as 14% after missing earnings estimates in its third-quarter report.

So what: The nation's largest newspaper chain said adjusted earnings per share fell from $0.56 a year ago to $0.43. That figure beat estimates of $0.41, but revenue of $1.25 billion was off the mark set at $1.27 billion. Gannett's sales were down 4.3% from the year before and fell in its three largest categories: publishing advertising, publishing circulation, and broadcasting. Digital advertising increased 5.2%, and CEO Gracia Mattore noted that the company was lapping a year when the Olympics and the presidential election help drive advertising revenue, noting that comparable broadcasting sales were up 14% excluding the impact of those two events.

Now what: The USA Today publisher has been trying to diversify away from media, and it took the latest step by acquiring Belo, which will give Gannett greater access to the TV market, doubling its number of stations from 23 to 43. The move looks like a savvy one for the media company, as broadcast stations have become more valuable recently because of limited spectrum.

After opening sharply down, Gannett shares rallied to finish down just 2.2%. With a forward P/E of 9 and a dividend yield, this company could be worth a closer look.

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