Analysts: Newspapers to Do Well in First Quarter

Newspapers are in for rosier-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2010, according to forecasts by J.P. Morgan analysts.

As revenue declines moderate, national ad dollars re-emerge and auto classifieds start coming back, newspaper companies should see improvement in the first quarter and raise their forward expectations, say J.P. Morgan analysts Alexia Quadrani, Monica DiCenso and Townsend Buckles.

The improvement is relative, of course. The analysts still predict revenue declines for USA Today publisher Gannett, The New York Times Co., E.W. Scripps and McClatchy.

In mid-afternoon trading, shares of Gannett were up 1.4%, McClatchy was rising 5.4%, Scripps was adding 1% and The New York Times was gaining 5.3%.

(h/t Editor & Publisher)