Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: New York Times, Journal Communications and Gannett

Zacks

For Immediate Release

 

Chicago, IL – June 1, 2012 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. Publishing, including The New York Times Company (NYT), Journal Communications (JRN) and Gannett (GCI).

 

A synopsis of today’s Industry Outlook is presented below. The full article can be read at  

http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/76174/publishing-industry-stock-update-june-2012

 

OPPORTUNITIES

Despite the tough times faced by the publishing industry, there are a number of defensive names in the group that can hold their ground. Companies are radically changing their business models to get in line with industry trends.

The New York Times Company (NYT) is diversifying its business by adding new revenue streams to make it less susceptible to economic uncertainties. The company is also streamlining its cost structure, strengthening its balance sheet and rebalancing its portfolio.

The company’s first-quarter 2012 earnings of 8 cents a share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 2 cents, and increased from a break-even in the prior-year quarter. The quarter reflects favorable response to the digital subscription packages, increase in circulation revenue and fall in attrition rate as subscribers to the New York Times print version are able to access content or articles online as well as on all applications of The Times for no additional charge.

The New York Times Company currently holds Zacks #3 Rank that translates into short-term Hold rating. Journal Communications (JRN) holds Zacks #2 Rank that translates into short-term Buy rating.

WEAKNESSES

The newspaper industry continues its struggle with plummeting advertising revenue amidst the economic headwinds. Although murmurs about advertisers returning to the market are gaining ground as the economy recovers, the positive effects have yet to be realized.

The current economic upheaval is taking a toll on publishing companies, and Gannett (GCI) is no exception. Publishing advertising revenue fell 8.4% year-over-year to $551.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, following a decline of 7.1% in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Tepid recovery in the economy along with weakness in advertising demand in the U.S. and U.K. impacted the results. The company’s high dependence on advertising revenue, a derivative of the health of the economy, remains a potential threat.

However, the company is repositioning itself for improvement in print and digital media through a new subscription based model, whereby subscribers will be able to access the paid content through websites, mobile and tablet, and will have the preference of choosing the frequency of home delivery of print editions. On the other hand, the company will limit the number of free articles that a non-subscriber can access.

 

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Read the analyst report on NYT

Read the analyst report on JRN

Read the analyst report on GCI

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