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Bet on Gannett as it Hits New High

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Shares of Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI - Free Report) surged to attain a new 52-week high of $26.90 on Sep 25, 2013, before closing at $26.67. Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) have amassed a year-to-date return of roughly 48.2%. Investors remain upbeat on the company’s efforts to diversify its business model by adding new revenue streams in an effort to make it less susceptible to economic conditions.

Based on the current price, this diversified media conglomerate is 2.1% lower than the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $27.25. The company currently trades at a forward P/E of 12.21x, a discount of 57.9% to the peer group average of 29.00x. Additionally, the company’s long-term estimated EPS growth rate is 6%, in line with the peer group.

Gannett is also adapting to the changing face of the multiplatform media universe, which currently includes Internet, mobile, tablet, social media networks and outdoor video advertising in its portfolio. This is evident from the company’s recent announcement of the acquisition of television-station operator, Belo Corp. This deal is a perfect fit for the company as it will transform Gannett’s business model, which was largely focused on low margins newspapers into a high-margin multi-media business.

The company also initiated a subscription based model, commenced Digital Marketing Services in top markets, and refurbished its iconic brand, USA TODAY to generate new advertising and marketing revenue sources. Gannett acquired Mobestream Media and BLiNQ Media to enhance its Digital Marketing Services. The company has successfully deployed the subscription based model in 78 local publishing markets. We believe that despite glitches in the economy, the subscription based model still promises revenue generation.

Cost containment is one of the aggressive approaches undertaken by the publishing companies to keep the bottom-line growth intact amid declining revenue and a shrinking market share, and Gannett is no exception. The company has been realigning its cost structure and streamlining its operations to increase efficiencies, and in turn the operating performance.

Alongside, shares of SUPERVALU Inc. (SVU - Free Report) , Robert Half International Inc. (RHI - Free Report) and Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NUS - Free Report) reached a new 52-week high of $8.46, $39.23 and $97.75, respectively yesterday.

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