Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stock | Oh, those picky Wall Street investors!

Gannett's surprise announcement yesterday that it's tripling the dividend was some of the best news for investors in years.

But today, GCI's stock is down: It recently went for $15.45 a share, off 16 cents, or about 1%. What's more, it closed yesterday at $15.61, up only 4.2% on the day the news broke.

Why do I say "only" 4.2%?

Consider this: GCI has closed more than 4.2% higher fully 19 times over the past 12 months, according to an analysis of trading data.

Indeed, the single-biggest daily jump was 10%, to $13.13 a share, on Dec. 5, amid speculation of -- yes -- a dividend hike.

A director's confidence
To be sure, not all investors are so picky. Only today, Gannett Director Duncan McFarland bought 15,000 shares of GCI at $15.51 each, according to a regulatory filing.

That $232,650 purchase increases his total GCI holdings to 51,800, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

McFarland's holdings are second in size only to John Jeffry Louis, who has 311,200, according to this table. A director since 2004, McFarland, 67, is the longest-serving member of the 10-person board.

Related: this spreadsheet shows closing prices and daily change since Feb. 23, 2011.


  1. Gannett now looks like great value at $15.50 - the shares are yielding 5%. I thought this would result in a $20+ price tag, especially with a clear new strategy emerging. I work for Gannett and I think confidence is returning.

  2. Quite obviously, investors are not impressed by promises to do things in three years. You can't take plans and aspirations to the bank.

  3. If you think this is a $20 stock, buy it. there is no reason to hurry because gracia expects lousy results for a while.

  4. Why does the song dreamweaver come to mind?

    1. More like Spooky Tooth.

  5. It was a great vallue when the company was buying back shares at inflated prices. Furloughs will pay for some of the next round.

    Gannett says in its 10k that it spent about $250 million on 2011 buy backs in in its new annual report.t

  6. We are furloughing workers and slashing staff to produce necessary savings for our forward-looking digital company.

    We need that savings in order to buy back stock and thus boost the stock options that we, your executive management team, hold.

    Thank you, you people, for helping us get those options above water level. Without you, our options would be worthless, and our families' futures less secure. Sort of like, well, you people.

  7. We are supposed to be a digital company and yet we continue to hire one ex-TV person after another. Brilliant.


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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