Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gannett Stock Falls to 18-Year Low; Conference Call Tomorrow on Company Status

Stock of Gannett, the corporation that owns the Democrat and Chronicle, was down to $17.29 per share in afternoon trading, an 18-year low.

Gannett's stock has lost 67 percent of its value in the last year.

This is good news for those of us who hope Gannett will have to sell its newspaper assets. New ownership and management is our only hope for getting a newspaper of integrity in Rochester.

You can listen to Gannett's conference call tomorrow morning, July 16, at 10 a.m., when it explains the company's earnings and performance for the second quarter (April through June).

It figures that the conference call for the owner of the D&C is one way only. The public can listen, but it can't ask questions.

I think there's a problem with "the process."


Rottenchester said...

From your lips to Gannett's ears, but I don't think they're going to sell the D&C in the near future, for two reasons:

First, Gannett is not losing money, yet. The current fall in stock price can be explained by investors who are dumping the stock because they aren't seeing the traditional high margins associated with major media companies. Fundamentally, Gannett has no reason to sell off its media properties.

Second, Rochester is their prime market for their "new Internet strategy". The Insider, RocMoms, RocMen, etc. are all being test-marketed here. Gannett is flooding Rochester with new properties. We're "strategic", unfortunately.

Lucy said...

OK, Rottenchester. But how about Gannett's 44% debt/equity ratio, in combination with the rest?

I bet the broadcast part of Gannett is worth at least $20/ share. Which is what has me thinking that if things get bad enough and the board brings in investment bankers to review the whole situation, they might think about turning Gannett into a broadcast company only.

Rottenchester said...

I hear you, but what's the tail and what's the dog?

According to the 2007 annual report, newspaper revenue was $6.7 billion. TeeVee was $789 million. (Both of those numbers are down from the prior year, btw.)

If they need to raise cash, spinning off TV seems like the way to go.