EARNINGS

Gannett Second-Quarter Earnings Drop

Gannett said second-quarter profit fell 4.5 percent, to $338.6 million ($1.37 a share) from $354.4 million ($1.30) in the comparable period a year earlier. The McLean-based company said sales rose 3.4 percent, to $1.94 billion.

Gannett's newspaper unit's sales rose 4.7 percent, to $1.74 billion, but ad sales at its flagship USA Today newspaper dropped 1.4 percent. Revenue in the broadcast unit, the largest owner of NBC affiliates, dropped 6.9 percent, to $197.9 million.

Virginia Commerce Profit Grows Almost 30%

Virginia Commerce Bank of Arlington earned $4.5 million (30 cents a share) in its second quarter, up from $3.4 million (25 cents).

As of June 30, total assets were $1.39 billion, up from $1.05 billion on June 30, 2004. Although loans were up 41 percent, the bank also had an increase in nonperforming and past-due loans, to $3.8 million from $224,000. The bank said most of the loans in question were in the process of being renewed or were "well secured by real estate."

ACQUISITIONS

Purchase of NCRIC Group Moves Forward

NCRIC Group, a District-based medical malpractice insurance company, said the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking approved its plan to sell itself for $69.6 million in stock to ProAssurance, a larger, Alabama-based insurer. NCRIC shareholders are scheduled to meet Aug. 2 to vote on the deal, which is expected to close after the meeting.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.