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Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: The New York Times, McClatchy, Gannett, News Corporation and The Washington Post

NYT MNI GCI NWSA

 ZacksTrade Now

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 16, 2012 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the Publishing Industry, including The New York Times Company (NYT - Analyst Report), McClatchy Company (MNI), Gannett Co. (GCI - Analyst Report), News Corporation (NWSA - Analyst Report) and The Washington Post Company .

 

A synopsis of today’s Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article can be read at  http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/69741/Publishing+Industry+Stock+Review+-+Feb.+2012

OPPORTUNITIES

Despite the tough times faced by the publishing industry, there are a number of defensive names in the group that can hold their ground. Companies are radically changing their business models to get in line with industry trends.

The New York Times Company (NYT - Analyst Report) is diversifying its business by adding new revenue streams to make it less susceptible to economic uncertainties. The company is also streamlining its cost structure, strengthening its balance sheet and rebalancing its portfolio.

The company is witnessing strength across digital advertising in News Media Group. The company’s fourth-quarter 2011 earnings of 45 cents a share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 42 cents. The quarter highlights favorable response to the digital subscription packages, increase in digital advertising revenue at News Media Group, improvement in circulation revenue and fall in attrition rate as subscribers to the New York Times print version are able to access content or articles online as well as on all applications of The Times for no additional charges.

The New York Times Company currently holds a Zacks #2 Rank that translates into a short-term Buy rating. McClatchy Company (MNI) also holds a Zacks #2 Rank.

WEAKNESSES

The newspaper industry continues its struggle with plummeting advertising revenue amidst the economic headwinds. Although murmurs about advertisers returning to the market are gaining ground as the economy recovers, the positive effects have yet to be realized.

The current economic upheaval is taking a toll on publishing companies, and Gannett Co. (GCI - Analyst Report) is no exception. After dropping 8.5% in the third quarter of 2011, publishing advertising revenue fell 7.1% to $670.7 million from the year-ago quarter. Tough economic environment along with softness in advertising demand in the U.S. and U.K. impacted the results. The company’s high dependence on advertising revenue, a derivative of the health of the economy, remains a potential threat.

However, the company is repositioning itself for improvement in print and digital media through a new subscription based model, whereby subscribers will be able to access the paid content through websites, mobile and tablet, and will have the preference of choosing the frequency of home delivery of print editions. On the other hand, the company will limit the number of free articles that a non-subscriber can access. Gannett currently holds a Zacks #3 Rank that translates into a short-term Hold rating. News Corporation (NWSA - Analyst Report) and The Washington Post Company also hold Zacks #3 Ranks.

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