Saturday, January 31, 2009

Has Gary Pruitt abandoned McClatchy?... CEO dumps 35,763 share of MNI stock

Gary Pruitt, CEO of the financially troubled McClatchy newspaper company, unloaded 35,763 shares of MNI stock this week, just as the chain is roiled by rumors of pending company-wide layoffs.

Records show Pruitt sold his stock in a non-open market transaction at 70 cents a share. The transaction is dated January 26, 2009.

This isn't the first time Pruitt has sold off major chunks of McClatchy stock. Two years ago, Pruitt unloaded 40,040 shares of MNI.

Pruitt's move is sure to be questioned by McClatchy employees, understaffed and asked to do more with less after the company has eliminated approximately 2,500 jobs in just over a year.

Hat tip: comments
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24 comments:

Anonymous said...

A bit off-topic, but MNI is on deck for 4Q report. MNI earnings will problably be worse than Gannett.
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Gannett 4Q earnings down 36% from a year ago

Associated Press | Gannett
"Our results for the quarter reflect the unprecedented turmoil in the economies of both the U.S. and the UK and in the financial markets," says Gannett CEO Craig Dubow. The company plans to write down the value of assets by as much as $5.9 billion

McClatchy Watch said...

McClatchy's 4th quarter earnings call with newspaper analysts is next week. It will be interesting to see if the analysts ask Pruitt about him unloading MNI stock.

Anonymous said...

Why would Pruitt sell 35,763 shares of stock just before the 4Q report? He is a multimillionaire. That amount of money is pocket change to him. He must have known it looks like he is sticking a thumb in the eye of the other stockholders. I think there is more here than meets the eye at this moment.

Anonymous said...

What day is the 4th quarter earnings call on? Do you think the rumored layoffs are likely to happen before or after the call?

McClatchy Watch said...

The 4th quarter earnings call is February 5 -- this Thursday.

nick said...

McClatchy purchased Knight Ridder was bad deal for newspaper Industry Not long ago, newspaper executives exuded confidence about their industry. McClatchy Co. chairman and CEO Gary Pruitt proposed a formula for running a strong newspaper group after his company agreed to buy Knight-Ridder Inc. in 2006. Flip the well-known Philadelphia Inquirer and San Jose Mercury News in favor of papers with cash-flow margins above 30% in markets with household growth of more than 11%. Pruitt noted that more people read the Sunday paper than watched the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.

Anonymous said...

I read the Gannett 4Q transcript. What a dance these CEO’s do. They blame everything in the world but their shortsighted mismanagement. After the dance Pru will be exhibiting soon, I see him as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars, dapper little dandy that he is.

Anonymous said...

7:44 Could Gary not be there?

Anonymous said...

He sold because stock prices will drop like a boulder once the earnings report comes out. Pruitt saves himself some change by selling. Guy is a total loser.

Anonymous said...

I think Gary sold because he knows the big B is coming and .70cents is better than nothing. Or they are going private.

Anonymous said...

Who would take the job if Pruitt gets bounced? It's a dead-end job for anybody with any talent and career advancement agenda. They'd have to promote one of the impotent management clones from inside or settle for a reject from the outside who can't find work anywhere else. McClatchy is a poor choice for anybody with legit talent.

Anonymous said...

Pruitt's Rolling Stone's tribute song for 2009: "It's All Over Now."

McClatchy Watch said...

Another Gary Pruitt theme song: "It's the end of the world as we know it" by R.E.M.

Anonymous said...

Actually folks, he filed an amendment (seems to be customary with him) and the actual price exercised was .83, not the .70 he originally reported.

As for the why's to the transaction, it could be that he has an automatic transaction set up that divests annually or quarterly...or it could be that Mr Pruitt is not the financial dynamo that he is purported to be. Many high rolling CEO's lost their shorts during the past few months, especially leftists, who's investment schemes were largely picked to the bone as their shelters were ravaged. By design? You be the judge, but, don't measure all CEO's by the few that you have read about who are in the news for their excesses. For every scumbag you've heard of, there are a thousand decent, honest and hard working people who care about their company and the people that work for them.

Anonymous said...

It's possible that company executives who receive stock options must excercise those options within a certain period of time or lose them.

Anonymous said...

Re: [CEOs] …decent, honest and hard working people who care about their company and the people that work for them.

Of course that is correct. It is like the Democrats defaming all ‘Big Business’ as evil giants.

I do take this exception about the Media CEOs, they did know the slant and bias of their respective organizations. They in fact selected and elected obama. They selected the candidates in both parties. We now have a government run by George Soros, thanks to a total liberal takeover accomplished by the suppression of facts about liberal candidates. That is the news; where are the watchdogs?

Anonymous said...

“the actual price exercised was
.83, not the .70 he originally reported.”

What would be the advantage of reporting a lower price and then amending it?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Pru was informed of a permanent furlough in his near future, and he sold his stock in a snit, like he was stamping his irate little feet in their Berluti loafers. Take that!

Anonymous said...

While I am not a mathematician, I was wondering what difference a few cents a share would actually represent:

35,763 @ .83 = $29,683.29
35,763 @ .70 = $25,034.10
====================
$4649.19

Every few cents more a share does make a difference. I'll bet Pruitt is wishing the good old days would return.

Anonymous said...

What would be the advantage of reporting a lower price and then amending it?
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In this case probably none, however, if you examine Pru's sell history you will see an established pattern of amending his filings after press releases are announced or original filings are reported in the news.

Case in point his often sited selling of 40+K shares after the Knight-Ridder sale was amended a couple of days later to much larger number of shares sold, but that amended amount was never reported in the media and Pru avoided the extreme negative publicity that it would have brought.

There are probably two or three other cases where a price would be amended higher, but generally if there is a pattern of doing this, there are policy problems with the way such transactions are handled. What is that leftist term? Culture of corruption? Yeah, that is it.

Anonymous said...

Every few cents more a share does make a difference. I'll bet Pruitt is wishing the good old days would return.
------------

He isn't longing for the days of old just yet. Remember, just last month he earmarked another million shares for him and his BOD. They don't have to pay a thin dime for them, but they do get to collect the dividend on them. Pru's share was 500k on top of everything he already has earmarked and what he actually reports that he owns.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, slow learner here. I think I get it, all this information is available in the SEC files, but who actually puts all this information together in one meaningful place? I doubt the stockholders ever know half of what they should. Just like amending the stock price after recording it. It sounds sneaky, sneaky legal, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Not a problem. The SEC runs a database called EDGAR and EDGAR ONLINE is access to the various corporate filings. You can find a tutorial here on how to use it..http://www.sec.gov/edgar/quickedgar.htm. The database contains a wealth of information that most people do not even know exists, but then, who reads instructions?

It is unfortunate, but almost all corporate filings are done by legal counsel thus making most of the information there in need of translation to plain English. There is also a lengthy set of instructions containing a whole host of various codes, abbreviations and cryptic insinuations all referenced in an unwritten lexicon that only experience and perseverance will over come.

I think it is by design. Kind of the same same nonsensical logic lawyers and doctors using Latin. It's only real purpose is to make sure the casual observer can't make heads or tails out of a very simple topic.

Anonymous said...

Why has nobody pointed out that he sold the stock the day before MNI announced it was suspending the dividend?

I don't know what exactly that means because I'm no corporate stock/insider trading expert, but it should be something, right?