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Analyst Blog

Shares of Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI - Analyst Report) reached a new 52-week high of $22.11 on Wednesday, Mar 20, gaining impetus from the company’s endeavors to diversify its business model by adding new revenue streams in an effort to adapt to the evolving face of the multiplatform media universe.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) media conglomerate eventually closed at $22.07, recording a healthy return of 23.7% year to date. The company currently trades at a forward P/E of 9.91x, a 29.1% discount to the peer group average of 13.97x.

Alongside, companies like Macy’s Inc. (M - Analyst Report), Target Corporation (TGT - Analyst Report) and The Kroger Company (KR - Analyst Report) crafted new 52-week highs on Wednesday.

Gannett is poised to benefit from a rapidly changing business model, like increasing digitalization, in order to keep itself on the growth path. The company initiated a subscription based model, commenced Digital Marketing Services in top markets, and refurbished its iconic brand USATODAY to generate new advertising and marketing revenue sources.

Gannett acquired Mobestream Media and BLiNQ Media to enhance its Digital Marketing Services. The company has successfully deployed a subscription based model in 78 local publishing markets. Gannett’s CareerBuilder is growing by leaps and bounds, and its acquisition of Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. proved to be a game changer for this online job portal.

Moreover, Gannett has been realigning its cost structure and streamlining its operations to increase efficiencies, and in turn the operating performance.

Going forward, Gannett’s long-term objective includes returning $1.3 billion to investors and annual revenue growth of 2% – 4% by fiscal 2015. Management expects U.S. Community Publishing subscription revenue to be up by 25% by the end of 2013, which translates into a contribution of approximately $100 million to operating profit. Retransmission consent fees for 2013 are expected between $135 million and $140 million.

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