Sunday, November 16, 2008

Can McClatchy survive the repercussions that will follow the latest Morningstar report?

A commenter reflects on the Morningstar report that says MNI stock could be worthless -- and explains what it means for McClatchy:
This report means that MNI can forget any institutional investments in the forthcoming future. It serves as fair warning that MNI is worthless, and any institution investing the money of others in it could face lawsuits for making unwise investments.

What it means for MNI's future is equally obvious. There will be no more loans because banks face similar challenges if they give MNI any money. So the company has to make it on revenues, which are declining because of the recession, or cost-savings. The easy cost-savings have been achieved, so this means even more layoffs next year. They could try to get out of the hole Pruitt dug by selling off some papers, but this market is ferocious and even healthy newspapers like San Diego and Austin are not moving.

We can all draw our conclusions based on this. There is no future left in this company. Morningstar doesn't mention it, but I see the only way out is bankruptcy and reorganization. It would get rid of Pruitt and the board of directors who put us in this mess.

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Morningstar analyst says McClatchy stock could be worthless

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Six months ago, I laughed at someone who suggested MNI was heading to bankruptcy. Today, it I think it is a reality, partly because bankruptcy reorganization is the only way the family can regain anything out of the mess that Pruitt and his cronies have made. Howard Weaver and the other "brains" running this company need to look at the bottom line of their efforts and recognize how wrong and disastrous their regime has been. They have put the viability of hard-working MNI employees in question, destroyed one of the healthiest newspaper companies in the United States, and brought to ruin some very nice and simple people who once had a vision of what journalism should be.

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad 6:51. You're not alone. I started shorting MNI right after I unloaded my fractional shares when the Knight Ridder deal was finalized.

I was scoffed at, marginalized and informed that I would never be promoted. I never even knew how they found out that I was shorting the stock, but it didn't matter. I made more money betting against those dopes than their publishers and propagandists did driving it in the dirt.

I couldn't wait to get away from there. My only regret is not hanging around long enough to see the panic and frustration in the eyes of those who helped to destroy a once great paper. It would have been glorious to be upbeat and joyful at being among the first to be laid off.

McClatchy Watch said...

The company seems to be unraveling... it's not a stretch to imagine bankruptcy within months, maybe sooner.

Anonymous said...

Bankruptcy is a dirty word, but it doesn't have to be that way. It could be the path to survival of the newspapers and our jobs. A chapter 11 reorganization would permit the company to stretch out the debts and give MNI more time for the economy to recover. It would require the resignation of the entire top structure of the company, which would be a good thing in my opinion. But there are real profit-making gems in this heap, and they would be liberated to have a future without these fools who made this disaster.

Anonymous said...

Within weeks and before the New Year I predict MNI will suspend company pension contributions across-the-board, and suspend the stock dividend. There will be a desparate scramble for the cash MNI needs to meet federal requirements management makes up for all the losses in the pension fund. They are asking Congress to lift those requirements, but the cash crunch will come before that is all worked out.

Dave D. said...

...Aw, 7:52. MNI isn't failing because of the economy. It's failing because folks don't want your newspaper. And chapter 11 lipstick won't make it prettier. Quit fooling yourself, it's all over but the kicking and squeeling.

Anonymous said...

8:26 Do you have a link referring to MNI asking congress to lift the pension funding requirements?

Anonymous said...

I am with 7:52. Liberate the newspapers from the idiots and fools running MNI into the dirt. Instead of cutting and cutting more to support these fools, it is time to think about divorce. Bankruptcy means the survival of the newspapers. It also gets rid of these do-nothing corporate idiots and their half-million salaries

Anonymous said...

Of course they could always try committing some journalism instead of political advocacy and see if that helps.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you folks think that bankruptcy gets rid of the top management, because it doesn't. Somewhere down the line a few years from now it might if they are found to be uncooperative or incompetent (in a San Francisco Judge's opinion). Bankruptcy simply extends the misery and enables Pravda West to continue with a plan.

Anonymous said...

Bankruptcy sends Pruitt back to the career of his father, managing motels. That is all that I want. The board of directors will never go along with a bankruptcy that leaves Pruitt in charge. And the family, after seeing what Pruitt has done to their fortune, will lead the directors in the vote. Once Pruitt is gone, then so are his cronies and the other Sacto poseurs.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really think things would have been any different if Knight-Ridder had kept the papers?

Anonymous said...

5:11 Any different. Depends which side you are talking about. McClatchy would have continued as a moderately successful company without the KRI purchase, and without the $2 billion in debt it undertook when it purchased the chain. KRI might have had troubles with some of its struggling papers. Ridder would have been forced to carve off some of the money losers like Philadelphia, but he could have kept the chain together if he wanted. The problem is putting the two together involved too much debt. Pruitt obviously did a straight-line projection of revenues from the papers, not forseeing the decline in ads and obviously not this recession. MNI was in serious trouble before this recession began, but it was possible even then to bail out by selling some properties (for example Miami or the Startlegram) for discounted prices. Pruitt was too piggy to do that, and now it is far too late and probably not possible.

Anonymous said...

Well said 6:21.

Anonymous said...

How can one's pension evaporate? It's called theft, plain and simple...MNI will be sued believe me. That is, if there is a business left. I think the stock just hit 00.00, so somebody needs to be prosecuted.

Anonymous said...

Pension can't evaporate? Ask former Enron employees what happened to theirs.

Anonymous said...

Even better 10:19 How does a company evaporate......same answer.

Anonymous said...

Today Monday Nov 17,2008. We will have the answer. Hold on to your seat.