CEO Mary Junck bought 20,000 shares at an average price of $2.2175 on 8/12. The filing was at 6:22 Eastern, a short 10 minutes ago! The the market react tomorrow, and take LEE up further??
Why did Mary buy some shares on 8/12? More than likely because she saw the revenue and profit numbers for July and liked what she saw. I am a manager for a non-newspaper company and our accounting department normally finishes compiling the numbers 7-10 days into a month for me to look at the P&L. I am sure it is the same at LEE.
I can tell you the St. Louis market had a strong July. When I look at my notes on ad coverage for July versus what I complied for April, ad coverage was up about 20% when comparing these two months. This was driven by CARS, additional ads associated with the All-Star game/festivities and a general stablization in the St. Louis economy over this three month period.
I believe the current quarter will see higher revenue numbers than the fiscal 3rd quarter. Coupling this with continuing declines in both newsprint prices and the LIBOR rate, EPS for the fiscal 4th quarter will likely be much better than the $0.12/share ex items seen in the previous quarter.
Excellent post. Appreciate your analysis, especially on the localized effects in St. Louis, that I hadn't even thought of, related to the All Star Game.
As for Mary's buying, I don't think she would buy, if she thought she knew something "material" to the Sept. quarter's earnings. I would guess her buying is a general affirmation to the market that she believes the company IS turning around, and will continue to turn around. (Rather than a "proxy" on her beliefs about their current quarter's results.)
What I greatly have appreciated from Mary, all the way through the last several months, was her willingness to state a belief that the long term value of the franchise was not being appreciated by the marketplace, and that she believed things would get much better, when the recession turns. (That's more than a lot of newspaper companies were willing to say. Most were not willing to COMBAT this nonsense about the bulk of the ad revenue declines we've been seeing being due to the internet....which is absolute FOLDEROL.)
Still a TON of money to be made here, and in MNI, GCI, and AHC, in particular. The Sept. quarter earnings are going to be almost as much of a shot in the arm as the June earnings were....because it is going to be the first sign to the markets that ads revenue is actually getting STRONGER, sequentially anyway. And then, the Dec. quarter will probably be the first quarter in which we show measurable year over year GROWTH. As a result, by shortly after the Dec. quarter earnings are released, I expect LEE, MNI, and GCI to be at roughly DOUBLE their current prices. This COULD be conservative, depending on the degree of strengthening in ad revenues we see, and how quickly it comes.
Is it remotely possible that your requirement for "massive" inside buying keeps you in a self-imposed IRON MAIDEN?
Why do you trust these people so much, at put it at the PINNACLE of your investing criteria. I like to put a little bit more (well, actually a LOT more) faith in my OWN ability to just the fundamentals of a company....or an industry.
What makes me even more of a small fry is my inivestment criteria: I only require a 25% return, achievable here without breaking $3. It's my one trading position, which is only 5-15% of my portfolio at any one time. Also looking at MEG.
I bet she saw how the auto sale ads were increasing and figure now would be the best time to buy. Have you noticed the flood of auto ads on radio and other media outlets the past couple of weeks? It's definitely been awhile since this has happened. Revenues will probably have an uptick this quarter.