Thursday, January 1, 2009

Alan Mutter: McClatchy may get booted from the New York Stock Exchange (updated)

Alan Mutter says McClatchy is in jeopardy of getting booted from the New York Stock Exchange due to collapsing share price. (Of course, regular readers of this blog already knew that.)
At least two more publishers may be destined for the Pink Sheets early in 2009. Unless LEE’s shares turn around within a matter of days, it is likely to be the fourth newspaper stock booted off the Big Board. After falling below $1 per share in mid-December and failing to recover, McClatchy may not be far behind.
Click the link above for more details on the cratering of the US newspaper industry.

UPDATE 1/2/09: Via email, Alan Mutter says MNI is out of danger at present due to its strong performance Friday. MNI closed Friday at $1.09 per share. McClatchy would be booted off the Big Board if its shares fall below $1 for 30 days in a row.
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Anonymous said...

Has anyone else ever marveled at newspapers, who are going broke, that have business sections? Here we have a failing business writing stories about business as if they had any idea what they are talking about. Who would take business advice or analysis from someone that is going broke? Duh!

Perhaps if they have such insight they should share some of their knowledge with Mr. Pruitt.

It is like universities that have all these PhD's in the economics department and have not figured out a way to manage their own money.

Anonymous said...

Not one newspaper in McClatchy is broke. Every one of them, including Miami, is making money. The problem the individual newspapers have is the debt that the parent company must pay as a result of the deal to buy Knight Ridder. In fact, I would wager that there are a number of individual newspapers in McClatchy with 20 per cent or better cash flow margins.

Anonymous said...

Give Barney Fife a bullet and...Trouble is the newspapers (McClatchy) keep shooting themselves in the foot, keep bleeding and don't even have a clue...i.e. The Motley Fool is one of the syndicated financial columns that McClatchy prints...see McClatchy Watch Dec. 19 2008 "There was no particular market-moving news about MNI, although the syndicated Motley Fool column mentioned the stock in the same paragraph with the words “you'll likely see more than a few newspapers fold in the not-too-distant future.” "

Or directly from the source...

McClatchy's McWeak Quarter

By David Lee Smith
February 29, 2008
If the publishers' share prices continue to plummet, "going out to buy a newspaper" could take on a whole new meaning.

further down the article..."As CEO Gary Pruitt noted at the time of the release, "It's important to understand that this non-cash charge does not reflect our view of the long-term health of the newspaper industry ..." The company's share price fell by 37% in the fourth quarter alone."

BANG! ...AW, Barney!

Anonymous said...

Lee Newspapers just received a letter from the NYSC that it no longer meets guidelines(e.g. 30 days trading below $1.00/share, minimum shares traded per day, etc.).

McClatchy Watch said...

Anonymous 6:46 -- There is a good argument to make that McClatchy's $2 billion debt is what is sinking the company, not the profit margins at individual newspapers.

It must frost Miami Herald employees to hear that the proceeds from the sale of the Herald property will be used to pay down MNI debt instead of plowing the money back into the news room, or purchasing assets to improve the Herald's online presence.

Same with the Star-Telegram building. I'm assuming McClatchy will use the proceeds from the sale of the building to pay down corporate debt.

Anonymous said...

Well, the Star's crosstown stepchild the Kansas City Kansan announced they would end publication after 87 years on Jan 10. They will refund paid subscriptions. The Star will never go down with that amount of class.

Anonymous said...

The individual newspapers may have made double digit margins in 2008.

However, with major advertisers dying off in '09, McClatchy will see the lowest profit margin in it's history.

Anonymous said...

Chrysler, a big newspaper advertiser, get a big loan from the taxpayers. Chrysler blows half a million or so on a “Thank-you dumb taxpayers” ads in national newspapers. Huge backlash reaction ripples through the internet. Wastefulness of corporate ego does not go unnoticed. Blogs speak of a Chrysler boycott.

Same “Thank-you” could have been done with a you-tube video.

Consider that McClatchy is dependent on “new thinking” corporations like Chrysler for future health, and the big picture might even become clear for Howard Weaver.