Rising advertising demands as the Winter Olympics begin and nearing midterm elections in the US lifted shares of Gannett in New York on Tuesday.
Gannett, which publishes USA Today and owns 23 regional television stations, rose 2 per cent in afternoon trading to $27.05, following the company’s fourth-quarter results. But the shares closed at $26.36, down 0.57 per cent.
“Increased advertising demand in connection with the upcoming Winter Olympic Games that are going to be starting in a few days, and political elections, make for a promising and exciting 2014,” chief executive Gracia Martore said.
Quarterly profits fell 12 per cent from a year earlier to $91m, or 39 cents per share, on a 10 per cent decline in revenues. Adjusting for restructuring and asset impairment charges, Gannett said it earned 66 cents a share, a penny above Wall Street forecasts.
Ms Martore added that a split of the company was not in the works “at this moment in time”. Instead, she said the group was focused on increasing possible synergies between its publishing and entertainment businesses, following the $2.2bn acquisition of broadcasting group Belo in December. Ms Martore noted that she and Gannett’s board constantly evaluate the appropriate structure for the company.
A sharp jump in European sales in the final three months of last year sent shares of Michael Kors 17.27 per cent higher to $89.91, the top performing stock on the benchmark S&P 500.
The New York-based chain reported profits of $229.6m for the quarter, or $1.11 per diluted share, up from $130m in the same period in 2012. Revenues climbed 59 per cent to $1bn.
Same-store sales climbed 28 per cent in the quarter, including a 73 per cent rise in Europe, as the entry-level luxury retailer takes market share from rivals including Coach.
Randal Konik, a Jefferies analyst, said there was no denying the company’s “superior growth story” over the past several years, but warned investors that sales were likely to slow down in the near term.
“As Michael Kors continues to take share from Coach, we believe the brand is reaching a saturation point and see diminishing returns as the product becomes increasingly ubiquitous,” Mr Konik said. “Thus, we anticipate a gradual deceleration in momentum from here.”
Investors bid shares of Yum Brands, the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, 8.9 per cent higher to $72.06 on Tuesday as the company stuck with its profit targets for 2014.
The company, which released full-year results after the market close on Monday and counts China as its most important market, shrugged off concerns that a resurgence of avian flu would hamper its sales, as it did last year.
Revenue for the year to the end of December fell 4 per cent to $13.1bn, as same-store sales fell 13 per cent in China compared to the year before.
Net income declined 32 per cent to $1.1bn, or $2.36 per diluted share, below already downward revised market expectations of $1.3bn.
Both revenue and income were hurt by sliding restaurant margins, which fell 2.7 percentage points in China as the company turned to deep discounting to revive its fortunes.
JC Penney shares lagged behind following an update on its financial performance, which showed its liquidity above $2bn.
Same-store sales rose 3.1 per cent for the nine weeks to the end of December and the retailer reported its first increase in sales since 2011. However, analysts on Wall Street were concerned that the company had to shift to deep discounting to woo consumers back to its shops.
“We believe this undermines the sales-to-margin bull case thesis for now . . . with elevated risk to fiscal year 2014/15 assumptions given a customer we believe management is finding harder to hold,” JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss said.
Shares in the company declined 10.5 per cent to $5.08.
US equity markets rose broadly on Tuesday, following steep declines a day earlier. The S&P 500 advanced 0.76 per cent to 1,755.20 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.47 per cent to 15,445.24. The technology heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.86 per cent to 4,031.52.