Tribune Faces New Test
The outlook remains inky for big newspaper companies.
Tribune (TRB), Gannett (GCI) and McClatchy (MNI) have been much in the news of late, what with investor discontent swirling. Shares of newspaper companies have fallen sharply in recent years in the face of shrinking growth prospects.
This week the companies will get a chance to show that the reported death of the newspaper business has been exaggerated. Still, analysts aren't holding their breath.
Analysts are looking for Gannett, which is due to report Wednesday morning, to earn $1.31 per share, down from $1.37 a year ago, on $2 billion in revenue. On Thursday, Tribune will be expected to earn 56 cents per share, down from 60 cents last year, on $1.5 billion in revenue. McClatchy targets are set at 88 cents a share, down from 94 cents last year, on $338 million in revenue.Wall Street will focus most of all on Tribune, given the turmoil at the Chicago company. The Chicago Cubs owner, which has large TV station and newspaper holdings, including the Los Angeles Times, has just completed a large tender offer even as a key stakeholder is calling for a split of the company. Deep-pocketed prospective buyers of the Times, including reported interest from the likes of David Geffen and Ron Burkle, have emerged, but Tribune management says it isn't selling. Tribune just completed a $2 billion Dutch auction through which it bought back 15% of outstanding stock at $32.50 per share. The program was derided by 12% owner the Chandler family trusts, which is applying pressure on management for a full scale break-up of operations. To be sure, more investors are beginning to question the logic of owning disparate local media holdings. These skeptics believe cross-media ownership synergies have largely failed to materialize.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV