(Updated for stock movement)
NEW YORK (
) -- One of the biggest investors in the
New York Times
recently trimmed its stake by 17.5%, selling 5 million shares at $8.25 a pop -- a price promptly surpassed by Times' stock on Tuesday.
Times shares closed Tuesday's session at $8.37, up 21 cents, or 2.6%, easing back from sharper gains earlier in the session. Volume topped 1.9 million shares; average daily turnover is about 1.3 million.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, the hedge fund Harbinger Capital said the share sale, completed last Thursday, reduced its stake in the Times to 16.4%, or about 23.5 million shares, from what had been a 20% piece of the newspaper company.
Harbinger booked a big loss in selling the shares for $8.25 apiece, or about $41.3 million. It started acquiring Times stock some two years ago, paying between $15 and $20 a share and spending about a half a billion dollars.
A Harbinger spokesman told various media outlets that the firm's Times investment is still one of its "core holdings" and that it didn't plan to cashier the entire stake. This past spring, after Harbinger sent out feelers for a sale of the whole caboodle, the media mogul David Geffen reportedly stepped forward with a bid (the sum was never disclosed or discovered), but Harbinger turned him town.
As with most media names, the value of Times' stock has surged since late winter, gaining more than 138% since hitting a 52-week low in February.
Also, in its Sunday editions, the
New York Times
released the results of a poll that asked advertising buyers and analysts covering print news organizations what they believed third quarter had in store for revenue figures.
The consensus opinion was that revenue across the industry would fall by 25% from the year-ago third period (which itself was awful), a slower pace than the nearly 30% shrinkage that most newspaper publishers had suffered over the last few quarters.
Other newspapers stocks were stronger Tuesday, as well, with
jumping 7.5% and
-- Written by Scott Eden in New York
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Scott Eden has covered business -- both large and small -- for more than a decade. Prior to joining TheStreet.com, he worked as a features reporter for Dealmaker and Trader Monthly magazines. Before that, he wrote for the Chicago Reader, that city's weekly paper. Early in his career, he was a staff reporter at the Dow Jones News Service. His reporting has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Men's Journal, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, and the Believer magazine, among other publications. He's also the author of Touchdown Jesus (Simon & Schuster, 2005), a nonfiction book about Notre Dame football fans and the business and politics of big-time college sports. He has degrees from Notre Dame and Washington University in St. Louis.