Shares of Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI) surged to attain a new 52-week high of $29.76 on Dec 30, 2013, before closing at $29.72. Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) have amassed a year-to-date return of roughly 66.5%. 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 7.6% lower than the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $32.17. The company currently trades at a forward P/E of 14.3x, a discount of 55.2% to the peer group average of 31.92x, suggesting of upside potential. Average volume of shares traded over the last three months was approximately 2,539.7K. 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 acquisition of the television-station operator, Belo Corp. This deal is a perfect fit for the company as it is expected to 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.
Cost containment is one of the aggressive approaches undertaken by the publishing companies to keep 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.
Apart from Gannet, other stocks such as Tiffany & Co. (TIF), Wolverine World Wide Inc. (WWW) and The Walt Disney Company (DIS) achieved new 52-week highs of $92.18, $33.93 and $76.54, respectively, yesterday.
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