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Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI - Analyst Report), the diversified media conglomerate, is slated to report its fourth-quarter 2013 results on Feb 4, 2014. In the last quarter, it posted a positive surprise of 4.9%. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors this Past Quarter

The sturdy performance of the Digital segment helped Gannett post better-than-expected third-quarter 2013 results. The company is taking initiatives to diversify its business model by adding new revenue streams in an effort to make it less susceptible to economic conditions. The company is also adapting to the changing face of the multiplatform media universe, which currently includes Internet, mobile, tablet, social media networks and outdoor video advertising in its portfolio.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Gannett is likely to beat earnings estimates this quarter. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1, #2 or #3 for this to happen. This is not the case here, as you will see below.

Positive Zacks ESP: ESP for Gannett is +3.08%. This is because the Most Accurate estimate stands at 67 cents, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 65 cents.

Zacks Rank #4 (Sell): Gannett’s Zacks Rank #4 when combined with a positive ESP makes surprise prediction difficult. We caution against stocks with a Zacks Ranks #4 and #5 (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Stocks that Warrant a Look

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows they have the right combination of elements:

Herbalife Ltd. (HLF - Snapshot Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.71% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Jack in the Box Inc. (JACK - Snapshot Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.54% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Finish Line Inc. (FINL - Snapshot Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.18% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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