Monday, February 13, 2012

AllianceBernstein boosts GCI stake near 10%

[Updated at 1:22 p.m. ET with BlackRock filing.]

The money manager increased the number of shares it owns to 22.8 million, or 9.6%, from 16.9 million or 7.1% a year ago, Corporate said in a filing with federal securities regulators moments ago.

The latest figures are as of Dec. 31, according to the New York manager’s annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Also today, BlackRock said it had cut its stake to 12.5 million, or 5.2% as of Dec. 31, from 15.2 million, or 6.4%, last year.

In an earlier filing, mutual fund giant Vanguard said Friday that it had it trimmed its ownership to 12.4 million shares, or 5.2% of all. That’s down slightly from 12.7 million, or 5.4%, from a year ago.

GCI traded recently today for $14.64, up 3 cents, or less than 1%.


  1. So the three biggest holders of Gannett stock together have over 20% of shares outstanding (about 242 million last I checked). Throw in Gannett's 401k plan, and you approach 25%.

    Hard to see any major shakeups when four holders control a quarter of the company. You wonder if the three outside managers held all the way down from $90, and if they added when the stock fell below $2.

  2. On the contrary, major institutional holders often become so as a prelude to a demand for changes. This is, for example, Carl Icahn's M.O. I am not saying that is the case here and in all likelihood it is not. But the conclusion that a new 10-percent owner automatically means nothing will change is really not true.

  3. When Icahn buys a 10 - 20% stake (certainly wouldn't cost him much, relative to some of his previous "bets") in Gannett, then I'll agree with you.

    Otherwise, let's see how BlackRock and Vanguard did with another stock in which they are the top two holders by number of shares. That stock would be . . . Eastman Kodak, which now sells for 42 CENTS A SHARE. If ever a company watched itself go over a cliff like a dodo bird, it's Kodak.

    See a parallel here? How'd those big-shareholding watchdogs do with that one? Maybe they just didn't want to go to Rochester . . .

  4. Wouldn't it be nice if Icahn did take a stake. He'd be doing it because he sees value in a company. His MO would mean several seats on the board andn strident oversight of management. Something sorely lacking at Gannett siince BC (before Craig).


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