Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Urgent: J.P. Morgan jumps to No. 1 stockholder; bank bulks up to 24M shares, new document says

The investment banking goliath has added at least 17 million shares in the last four months, a new regulatory filing today says, boosting its overall share of Gannett's stock to 10.2%, or 24 million shares as of April 30 -- making it the company's single biggest holder.

J.P. Morgan Chase's filing early this morning with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not indicate the bank is anything more than a passive investor. In other words, it is not seeking to change the company's direction via assuming a seat on the board of directors.

The bank's previous stake is listed variously as 5.4 million, or 2.3%, on the low side, and 7.4 million or 3.1%, on the high side. Both those figures are as of Dec. 31. I can't explain the different figures, which come from two different databases. At the moment, I'm looking for more information within Gannett's SEC filings.

GCI soared after the filing: Shares recently traded for $17.14, up $1.10 a share, or 6.9%. That rise far outpaced the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the broader S&P 500 Index, both of which were up less than 1%.

Today's filing doesn't give the prices J.P. Morgan paid. Between Dec. 31 and April 30, Gannett traded from a closing low of $13.53 to a closing high of $18.67, Google Finance says.

Gannett's two top shareholders had been Ariel Investments, with 14.8 million, or 6.3%; and Vanguard Group, with 12.7 million, or 5.4%. Those figures also were as of Dec. 31, public documents show.

Related: The Wall Street Journal's story


  1. This is really great news for Gannett, JP Morgan Chase is a top class investor. We Gannett employees should all take a lot of confidence from this.

  2. In the words of the late, great Arte Johnson --Veeeeeeeeeery IN-te-res-ting.

  3. Whoopsie, Arte isn't "late" yet! Sorry, Arte!

    Still "great" tho!

  4. Jp Morgan is Gannett's bank. When you breach the debt convenents, then the bank takes equity. Gannett is in violation.

  5. If my memory serves me, isn't JP Morgan Chase also the prime banker to inherit the bankrupt Tribune Co. once the courts wrap things up?

  6. Maybe they'll give big G a bailout? G can pawn some Prez Ring Bling in exchange?

  7. 8:38 pm: I don't believe you're correct. Where's your evidence?

  8. LAST graph posted explains that jp morgan bought gannett stock--

    By MICHAEL LIEDTKE (AP) – 3 hours ago

    SAN FRANCISCO — JPMorgan Chase & Co. is boosting its bet that better days are ahead for the slumping newspaper industry. It reported Tuesday that it now owns a 10.2 percent stake in USA Today publisher Gannett Co., making it the company's largest shareholder.

    JPMorgan disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it owned 24.3 million Gannett shares as of April 30, up from 7.4 million shares at the beginning of the year. It used a form that signals the investment is a passive one, not a prelude to a takeover attempt.

    And JPMorgan didn't make the investment with its own money; it bought the stock through investment arms that manage money for other institutions and individuals.

  9. Thanks for the clarification GRACIA!!!!

  10. When a JPM triples their investment, you have to ask yourself if GCI might be in play as an acquistion. Off hand, I can't think of who. But going from 7M to 24M that quickly for a JPM means they see something, and that something is probably short-to-mid term.

    Maybe they just like GCIs prospects for the rest of the year. Maybe. There are reasons to do so given the easy compartives they will have for the rest of 2010. But what the JPMs of the world *really* like are short-term sure things, and their sources of information are a lot better than ours.

  11. I guess JPM must know something we don't know. It seems to me that putting money into a company that "saved" itself largely by cutting employees isn't a good long-term investment.

    Then again, the consolidations, so heavily criticized here, may be the only way to keep the company afloat until the Web sites take over.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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