Gannett executives were upbeat in their presentations Wednesday to the UBS 38th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference. The company is telling Wall Street that Q4 should finish at the high end of analysts’ expectations.
“Most analysts’ estimates for fourth quarter EPS range from 72 cents to 82 cents. At this point, we are comfortable at the high end of that range,” said President and COO Gracia Martore. The company had indicated that the television division would lead its Q4 growth when Gannett reported on Q3 results.
“2010 has been a significant year for us on several fronts and we are a stronger company now than we were just twelve months ago,” CEO Craig Dubow told the annual gathering. “Gannett substantially improved its financial performance this year and took significant strides to create efficiencies and align expenses with revenue opportunities. We further strengthened our balance sheet and enhanced our financial flexibility. We see a great deal of promise in each of our businesses and are positioned to act on new opportunities that will drive our future progress and growth.”
Dave Lougee, President of Gannett Broadcasting, noted the strong political and core advertising that drove significant revenue growth and profitability in 2010. “We are finishing the year on a very strong note. Our political footprint is always good and it was this year.”
Commenting on the outlook for 2011, Lougee noted, “We remain optimistic given the limited visibility we have. In January, auto is pacing very well for us and all of our major categories are pacing positively. Marketers returned to local television in 2010 because it works and there is every indication that will continue.”