Q2 Earnings Down for Two Newspaper Giants

18 July 2001

America’s two largest newspaper groups, Gannet and Knight Ridder, yesterday reported shrinkages in second quarter earnings. Both cited a drop in ad revenues as a key factor.

Garnet, which publishes USA Today and ninety-seven other daily titles, posted a twelve percent decline in net earnings to $233.5 million, or 88 cents a share. This accorded with expectations and compares with $265.8m ($1 a share) for the same period in 2000.

At Knight Ridder, a combination of newsprint price increases, employee lay-offs and declining ad revenues reduced Q2 earnings by a swingeing 86%. Inclusive of a $78.5m charge for staff severances, earnings for the quarter fell to $13.4m (16 cents a share) compared with $96.3 million, or $1.08 a share.

Even without the once-only charge, earnings were still well below Q2 2000 at $60.5m (71 cents a share) – albeit one cent a share ahead of analysts’ consensus forecast.

Gannett's share price dipped 73 cents to $67.10; Knight Ridder's fell six cents to $61.34.

News source: New York Times