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McClatchy Stock Skyrockets

Stocks in this article: MNI

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- McClatchy Company (MNI) stock has been trading at stratospheric levels after the company reassured investors during a UBS media conference that the possible collapse of a land sale deal will not result in steep losses.

McClatchy shares have skyrocketed 20% to $3.10.

On Tuesday, the McClatchy also said it expects an improvement in advertising revenue trends this year, although the fourth quarter still will decline from a year ago.

McClatchy has been trying to sell 10 acres of land in front The Miami Herald's bayfront headquarters to Citisquare Group, but the sale has been delayed again and again, with the buyer facing trouble raising financing as the Miami real estate market has collapsed. McClatchy inherited the agreement to sell the property after it acquired the Knight Ridder newspaper in 2006.

The company owns 30 daily newspaper, including The Miami Herald.

The buyer has repeatedly failed to exercise its option to buy the land for $190 million, although it has already paid McClatchy a nonrefundable $10 million.

The deal, which was supposed to be completed at the end of June, has been extended to the end of December. If it is not completed by then, McClatchy will be entitled to a $6 million termination fee, which is somewhat a relief for investors as McClatchy seeks to pacify them over deep losses in its pension funds -- including a $32 million loss as a result of a Wall Street scandal involving Westridge Capital Management.

The New York Times Company (NYT), a main competitor, has advanced 1.4% to $9, after the company announced a projected 10% rise in digital ad sales for the fourth quarter, but a 25% fall in print ad sales. Other newspaper company stocks are trading in mixed territory. Gannett (GCI) has risen 7.5% at $12, while the Daily Journal (DJCO) has fallen 3.5% to $54.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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