Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stock | Citigroup analyst downgrades GCI shares

Gannett's stock recently traded for $15.57, up a penny, after a Citi Investment Research analyst today downgraded shares, saying GCI's first-quarter earnings forecast suggests a stable revenue stream is further away than previously expected. Shares traded as low as $15.24 earlier today.

Last Thursday, COO Gracia Martore told investors that GCI's publishing revenue would fall 6% to 7% in the current quarter vs. a year ago. That's a steeper decline from the 4.7% in the fourth quarter. The company expects earnings of 41 cents per share. "Analysts, on average, are forecasting slightly higher earnings of 43 cents per share, according to FactSet,'' the Associated Press said, in its report on the Citi downgrade.

Citi's action follows diverging forecasts from two other firms.

Friday, JP Morgan Chase lowered its price target on GCI's stock to $17 from $18 a share. That same day, however, UBS analysts boosted their forecast of GCI's earnings per share.

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