It's either a very, very good time to buy newspaper stock - or time to put us out of our misery. The Washington Post fell into the red this past quarter for the first time in like, what? 30 something years? A one-time charge of $87 million to pay for layoffs is getting the blame, but newspaper sales were down 13 per cent, print ad revenue was down 22 per cent and even without counting the layoff costs, earnings per share dropped sharply from over $8 to under $6. Across the US the credit crunch, the flight of advertising dollars and the general fear that things will get worse — much worse — before they get better, have all dealt a body blow to the newspaper biz:
The market capitalization of the Journal Register Company, publisher of the New Haven Register and hundreds of smaller papers, fell below $1 million last week, down more than 99 percent since the start of 2007. In the same period, GateHouse Media, another publisher of hundreds of small papers, has dropped almost 98 percent, to a market value under $26 million. The Sun-Times Media Group is down 91 percent, to less than $34 million.
Newspapers Could Be Bargains, but Few Are Buying - NYTimes.com
Now, it's probably important to note that share price is reflecting people's opinions, not necessarily earning potentials, but still... Bill