Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Several Top Newspaper Companies Joined Race -- to Bottom of Stock Performance in 2007

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Several Top Newspaper Companies Joined Race -- to Bottom of Stock Performance in 2007

Article excerpt

Journal Register Co. (NYSE: JRC) narrowly edged The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) to capture the unenviable title of 2007's biggest stock price loser among publicly traded newspaper groups.

In calendar 2007, Journal Register stock ended the year down 75.9%. For good measure, Wall Street hammered the stock down 9.1% from today's opening on Wednesday, another bad for newspaper stocks.

That was enough to best McClatchy, a former Wall Street darling whose stock price collapse was well publicized during the year. McClatchy ended the calendar year down 71.1%. In addition to skepticism about newspapers in general, McClatchy's exposure in California and Florida, where the housing collapse evaporated whole classified categories, soured Wall Street on a company it once applauded for acquiring Knight Ridder Inc.

Wednesday, on a down day that drove the Dow down another 200 points, McClatchy was bid to a new 52-week low, closing at $12.00, down 52 cents from the open, or 4.15%.

Journal Register's stock fall attracted less attention, but was caused by a similar geographic misfortune. Its cluster of papers in Michigan have suffered along with the state's recession.

If it's any comfort, nobody else with a fared very well in 2007, either.

Another high-flier on Wall Street, the acquisitive GateHouse Media Inc. (NYSE: GHS) fell precipitously in 2007, its first full year on The Street. GateHouse ended the year down 52.7%. On Wednesday, it, too, fell again, trading 4. …

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