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New York Times, Gannett Shares Up

Shares of the New York Times and Gannett shoot higher on a pair of bullish analyst calls.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of The New York Times (NYT) - Get Report and Gannett (GCI) - Get Report soared Wednesday after two analysts provided an optimistic outlook for the newspaper adverstising market.

Shares of the Times closed at $12.10, up 9.7%, while Gannett rose 7% to $15.40.

"After years of downward revenue estimate revisions, it appears as though the newspaper ad market is improving more quickly than we previously anticipated," wrote Wells Fargo analyst John Janedis, who upgraded the entire newspaper sector Wednesday.

Also, Edward Atorino, an analyst with Benchmark, upgraded Gannett, citing improving prospects for the newspaper publisher and what he sees as solid management strategy.

In a client note, Atorino raised his rating for Gannett to buy from hold and his price target to $18 from $16.

Atorino zeroed in on Gannett's cost-cutting efforts through the restructuring of its U.S. community newspaper operations, which included the consolidation of its printing operations as well as mass layoffs. Gannett reduced its headcount by 24% this year. He also pointed out that Gannett plans to centralize its advertising production in two centers by 2011.

"With solid franchises in small local newspaper markets in the U.S. and U.K., and ongoing efforts to expand content through new print and new media products, we believe Gannett is well positioned to weather the prolonged downturn in the newspaper publishing industry," he said.

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