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Valassis shares fall on weak 4Q results

LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) -- Shares of Valassis Communications Inc. fell 6 percent Thursday after the advertising services company announced lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

The Livonia, Mich.-based company earned $34.1 million, or 85 cents per share, down less than 1 percent from $34.3 million, or 76 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue fell 3 percent to $579.4 million from $595.3 million.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 95 cents per share on $559.8 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Valassis said revenue at its shared mail division fell about 1 percent to $357.3 million, hurt by lower demand for advertising inserts from specialty and discount retailers. Meanwhile, targeted neighborhood revenue tumbled 15 percent to $100.9 million, also as a result of lower demand for newspaper advertising inserts and profitability pressures.

For the full year 2012, Valassis earned $119 million, or $2.84 per share, up from $113.4 million, or $2.33 per share, in 2011. Revenue fell to $2.16 billion from $2.24 billion.

The company also backed its 2013 profit prediction of $3.50 per share. Analysts expect $3.52 per share.

Valassis shares fell $1.75, or 6 percent, to $28.46 in midday trading, after dropping as low as $27.03 earlier in the day. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have traded between $18.70 and $31.34.