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What earnings reports have revealed about ads


Companies that sell advertising have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. Here are highlights of recent quarterly earnings reports from selected Internet and media companies and what they say about the state of spending on advertising.

— Oct. 15: Gannett Co. reports higher net income and revenue, helped by strong gains in political and Olympics-related advertising.

— Oct. 16: Advertising and marketing company Omnicom Group Inc. reports nearly flat earnings and revenue compared with a year earlier, as U.S. revenue grew but international revenue declined.

— Oct. 17: Television and digital media company Media General Inc. says its third-quarter net loss widened because of higher expenses, but revenue grew sharply thanks to an increase in political advertising and the Olympics.

— Oct. 18: Google Inc. says ad revenue rose 16 percent from the same time last year, the slowest pace in three years. The company's ad revenue had climbed by at least 21 percent in each of the previous 10 quarters. As has been the case for the past year, the average prices companies pay Google for ads appearing alongside search results also fell. The decelerating growth in ad revenue is likely being driven by the growing use of smartphones and tablet computers to access the Internet. The ads are more difficult to see on smartphones, in particular, so marketers aren't willing to pay as much.

Microsoft Corp. says revenue in its online services division grew 9 percent to $697 million, while operating loss fell 29 percent to $364 million. Online advertising revenue grew 15 percent to $655 million, with growth in search advertising revenue partly offset by lower revenue from display advertising. Microsoft says search revenue grew because of increased revenue per search and increased volumes.

— Oct. 22: Yahoo Inc. reports net revenue that barely grew at a time when advertisers are spending more money marketing their products and services online. Still, it beat expectations. Net revenue in the latest quarter rose 2 percent to $1.09 billion — about $10 million more than analysts had predicted. Net revenue is the amount of money Yahoo keeps after paying its commission to search partner Microsoft and other sites that run its ads.

— Oct. 23: Facebook Inc. discloses that some 14 percent of its ad revenue came from mobile advertising. It started showing ads to users who access Facebook from their phones and tablet computers about six months ago. Investors have been worried that Facebook isn't taking advantage of its growing mobile user base.

— Oct. 25: The New York Times Co. says advertising revenue fell 9 percent in the third quarter to $182.6 million from $200.5 million a year earlier. The company says it expects fourth-quarter advertising trends to be similar to the third quarter.

WPP Group PLC, the world's largest advertising group, lowers its full-year outlook after not doing as well as expected from the Olympics, the U.S. presidential campaign and the European soccer championships.

The McClatchy Co., which owns The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee and other newspapers, says advertising revenue fell 5.4 percent to $212 million from $224.2 million a year ago.

— Oct. 26: Comcast Corp. says broadcast ad revenue at NBC more than doubled to $1.99 billion, and rose 9 percent excluding the Olympics. Ad revenue on pay TV networks such as Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC Sports was up less than 1 percent to $807 million. Comcast didn't say if pay TV network advertising revenue would have fallen without the boost from the Olympics.

The Interpublic Group of Cos., which owns advertising and marketing agencies, says the weak economy in Europe and slowdown in China have led a wide array of companies to cut spending on services such as marketing and advertising. Results missed expectations.

— Nov. 2: Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. says its third-quarter earnings surged as it sold more billboard advertising in several growing international markets to overcome weakening demand in many parts of Europe's ailing economy.

— Tuesday: News Corp., which owns the Fox network, says it saw increased local advertising, particularly for political ads. The gains were partly offset by lower national advertising revenue because of lower prime-time ratings and the Olympics on rival NBC. At its U.S. pay TV networks, advertising revenue rose 8 percent, led by Fox News and its regional sports networks.

AOL Inc. says its advertising revenue grew for the sixth straight quarter. Advertising revenue grew 7 percent to $340 million.

— Wednesday: Time Warner Inc. says ad revenue at its television networks fell 1 percent, as it saw better rates domestically but was hurt by the timing of certain sports events. It was also hurt by the shutdown of some channels overseas and by changes in currency exchange rates, in which ad sales made abroad converted back into fewer dollars. Ad revenue at the Time Inc. publishing business fell 5 percent.

—CBS Corp. says advertising revenue fell due to poor results from CBS Radio and the impact of having programs pre-empted by the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

Coming up:

— Thursday: The Walt Disney Co.

— Nov. 15: Viacom Inc.


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