The Long Fall Continues

Monday, June 05, 2006
What do you call a company that gives up 14% of its shareholder's value in 12 weeks? Why, the New York Times of course. Today marks another historic (well, to a technician, at any rate) milestone in Junior Sulzberger's destruction of his inheritance.

The stock closed at $23.87 on very weak volume which indicates that there was no institutional buy floor established at the 24 dollar level. Moody's cutting the Time's debt rating to (appropriately) junk status makes it difficult for the big funds to justify additional purchases. One might wonder if Junior is enjoying freefall as much as the astronauts do.

BTW - that 14% equals a shade under $600 million dollars. More than half a billion gone in three months and the Sulzbergers are leaving Junior in charge. Brilliant.

10 comments:

truepeers said...

Ok maybe this is a naive question, but how does the NYT report on its own decline? They have a business page, right?

gumshoe1 said...

lol @ truepeers.

Rick Ballard said...

gumshoe1 - nothing to laugh at, really. The shame of the matter is not the NYT reporting, which has been minimal, but the paucity of decent reporting by the business press. The Times is dying in silence. Hell, it's rated as a 'buy' in some venues with some of the most sickening sycophancy I've ever seen.

Juniors "big idea" was to shoot for "true blues" in the out lands while ceding most of the hometown market to the Post, Sun et al. They even set up contracts for printing in different locations like the WSJ does.

The problem is, there aren't enough "true blues" out there willing to abandon their own hometown liberal rag to subscribe to a junk paper from NY.

Keller is continuing the destruction that Raines began and Junior lacks the basic competence to do what is necessary. Junior also has a bad case of 'edifice complex' and is dumping money into a new building for which his shrinking company has no need.

He took the helm in a rising market and thought he caused it. A true fool.

gumshoe1 said...

Rick -

i was laughing at the idea that the current NYT would have the integrity to report on its own decline.

BTW...wherz the pic of "Pinch"
in one a' them nifty
shrinking orange jumpsuits?

i was sorta expecting the twin to
Bill Keller's Oscar Nite photo.

Rick Ballard said...

gs1,

I'll look around. If you run across a head and shoulder shot let me know. A profile would be even better.

David Thomson said...

The NY Times financial decline is quite startling. I suspect that journalists are intimidated about reporting on the debacle. It is something of a cultural milieu taboo.

I simply do not possess the type of funds necessary to invest in shorting a stock. However, for those who do---this may be a risk worth taking. It is easy imagining the Times dropping below $20 a share within a year. I most certainly don't see the price going up!

Rick Ballard said...

DT,

I don't think it's a short - fire Junior and you could see a 20% one day pop. This is a Sulzberger family intelligence test and they can't all be that stupid.

Fresh Air said...

Rick--

...they can't all be that stupid

I dunno. The last three guys the family assigned to run the paper were named Adolph, Punch and Pinch.

David Thomson said...

“This is a Sulzberger family intelligence test and they can't all be that stupid.”

This is why you have to possess gut to be a short investor. Still, I don’t think the family will do anything until the stock price drops at least another five points. Needless to add, I concede that I’m all mouth and no action. Somebody else will have to take the risk.

gumshoe1 said...

Rick -

i found these yesterday.


the PinchMan:
http://images.forbes.com/images/2001/06/26/arthur_sulzberger_200x220.jpg

no self-satisfied
smugness there.



and the pair:
http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/images/I7633-2003Jul31


Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
and William Keller