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When did the newspaper business get so uncool (said the web blogger)? Gannett Co. Inc. (GCI) has gone straight down for 2 years, and looks beyond dreadful. They are expected to be down 10% from last Q3 on 10/11 with an anemic $1.12 in earnings.

3 Buys (all old, I think they just forgot to change them), 15 holds, and 1 sell among the analysts. But a market cap of $12B just seems kind of low for a company generating $1.4B in cash. They think so too, as they’ve used $1.8B of that cash to buy back shares the past 2 years.

These guys own Captivate, which any city dweller knows and loves (well not loves but it beats staring at the wall for 3 minutes), and PointRoll, which shows me they are on top of transitioning to the Web -– no surprise for the guys who came up with the first good on-line paper (USA Today, no longer that good).

I like their P/E of 11 vs. The New York Times Co. (NYT) at 18 and Dow Jones & Company Inc. (DJ) at 20, and I think they may have a beat up their sleeves. Since they are resting just above the 50 DMA of $54.50, I have an easy exit point on the Jan $60s at .85, but there’s also a nice calendar spread to be had between the Jan ’08 $55s for $6.40 and the Jan ’07 $55s for $2.85, but I would also take the Jan $65s for .35 as protection.

Source: Gannett Co. Inc. -- They're Buying and So Am I