Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm now live-blogging the Q2 analyst conference

CEO Gracia Martore and other top executives are discussing the just-released second-quarter financial statement. The 10 a.m. ET conference, lasting about an hour, is being webcast in listen-only mode for the general public. How to participate.

11:02 And we're done! GCI's stock is now down 3% to $25.56. Note: Later today, this conference's audio will be available for replay at Corporate's website. Also later, I expect financial news site Seeking Alpha will publish a transcript; I'll post a link when it becomes available.

11:01 Martore and Harker are now trying to explain digital revenue growth in Digital Segment vs. company-wide to an analyst who can't read the statement properly.

10:57 We're in the final minutes of the conference. Q: What's status of CareerBuilder with GCI's partner Tribune Co.? Martore defers to Tribune. Ditto for Classified Ventures partnership.

10:54 Q: Interested in more TV stations? Any limitations because of regulatory rules? Martore says not just focused on investing in more broadcast, but any opportunity "at the right price."

10:47 Q: What about possibility of spinning off newspapers into their own division? Martore: focused on acquistion of Belo. GCI is committed to increasing shareholder value. "We always at the board level . . . are looking at opportunities. . . . We never rule anything out." [Hopkins: News Corp. and Tribune Co. are doing these spinoffs.]

10:46 Q: Taking out Newsquest, how would things have been with print advertising in Q2? Positive, Martore says.

10:43 First reference to royal baby! It's driving U.K. retail sales, says Martore.

10:40 Q: Advertising trends in July? Martore says broadcast has a tough comparable to Q3 in 2012. On U.S. Community Publishing, probably in line with Q2. Newsquest in the U.K. will improve, but they still have the drag on the currency side as British pound sterling is weak.

10:39 GCI stock is now down 3.3% to $25.50.

10:35 Q: Still expect 250,000-300,000 paying digital newspaper subs by year end? Martore: ended Q2 around 65,000. [Hopkins says: I don't see how they can hit even the 250K if they're only at 65K now.] Martore says the New York Times Co. has done a "fabulous job" with its paywalls. She's trying to shift attention to the number of existing GCI subscribers -- think it's 1.3 million -- who have activated their digital accounts.

10:33 Q: National advertising best in some time. What's going on? Martore credits USAT team in "really presenting the value USA Today brings in all platforms," plus value of print.

10:32 Q: What's the trend in TV advertising, including in Obamacare-related spending? Martore: Total TV revenues up in the mid-teens in Q3. Continued strength in auto. Corporate very focused on Obamacare reform ads. Broadcast President Dave Lougee says Obamacare will show up mostly in Q4.

10:29 Back to Martore. We're investing for the future, don't expect quick turnaround, etc. Now to the Q&A portion.

10:24 Relaunch of top 30 newspaper markets' digital offerings by year end. Unless I'm mistaken, that means GCI will miss its deadline of getting all done by the end of 2013.

10:17 Here's Harker. She's reading from a script that also highlights key figures from the financial statement. GCI stock is now down 2.6%, to $25.67. That's not bad, considering the company missed Wall Street's revenue forecast by $30 million.

10:12 Revenue in Digital Marketing Services is up 90%, albeit it off a small base. No dollar amounts given. The unit is expected to generate $275 million to $350 million in new revenue, also by 2015.

10:09 Martore talks about trends in the USA Today Sports Media Group. So far, I'm not hearing any specific dollar amounts as the unit aims for $300 million in promised new revenue by 2015.

10:03 And we're off. Here's Martore. She's recapping the financial statement. CFO Victoria Harker will follow. The most interesting part of the conference, as always, will be the question-and-answer session near the halfway mark.

9:53 I often wonder who chooses the background music we hear as we wait for the conference to begin. Right now, it's classical.

9:48 a.m. We're waiting for the conference to begin in about 10 minutes. In early trading, GCI's stock is down 4.3% to $25.22.

Earlier: Questions employees should ask during today's Town Hall meeting.

Related: Across Corporate America, earnings calls take on a whiff of show biz, according to The Wall Street Journal.


  1. Well,what does this mean? No one asked about cost cutting on the print side(lay offs).
    The fact that print is down millions in advertising should mean something.
    And no one asked for a solution!

  2. Print revenue down 5.5 percent and no comments here.
    No one cares or just waiting for the sky to fall?

  3. From this it looks like they really took it easy on her. Stock had rebounded but now down almost two percent.

    1. Stock jumped 25% on the Belo announcement. Why wouldnt they take it easy on her?

  4. Wall Street is fickle, especially during the summer when trading volume is light.

    Last week Google reported earnings that missed forecasts badly, and so did Microsoft.

    GOOG's stock fell sharply, but today it's back up to where it was before the earnings report.

    MSFT, on the other hand, fell even more, and its stock has yet to recover.

  5. Where are the USA Today ads she speaks of? I see very few ads in USA Today online or print except for the same travel and cell phones that have always been there.

  6. Microsoft's problem is the long-tine Ceo and former roommate of Bill Gates.lousy stock for the past decade.


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