Thursday, May 31, 2012

Urgent: Director McFarland buys another 20K GCI

In a fresh sign of insider optimism, director Duncan McFarland has bought another 20,000 shares of Gannett stock -- bringing his total purchases since February to 55,000 shares, new regulatory filings show.

In his most recent purchase, yesterday, McFarland paid $12.94 a share, or nearly $260,000, according to a filing this morning with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He now owns 91,800 shares, the document says.

GCI shares recently traded this morning for $12.77, down about 1%.

Yesterday's trade follows McFarland's two earlier ones, at higher prices:
Trades by board members, officers and other insiders like McFarland are closely watched for signs of a stock's direction. McFarland's trades suggest he continues to think GCI will eventually move higher. To be sure, his bets since February haven't paid off yet.

Other directors, including Scott McCune, Susan Ness, John Louis and Howard Elias have also been buying during recent months, but generally in amounts -- often 2,000 shares -- much smaller than McFarland's.

McFarland has been a director since 2004, making him the longest-serving member of the 10-member board. He was CEO and chairman of Wellington Management Co. of Boston, a money manager for institutional investors such as pension funds.


  1. "To be sure, his bets since February haven't paid off yet."

    Jim: Not exactly true. His dividend payout on the 15,000-share February purchase totaled $3,000, which annualizes to a 5.15 percent dividend yield. And the subsequent purchases yield even more because they were at a lesser share cost. The shares he bought today at $12.77 will throw off an annual divvy yield of 6.26 percent ($0.20 quarterly divvy X 4 quarters = $0.80 / $12.77 = 6.26 %).

    How much is your savings account or money market account yielding these days?

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  3. Over five years? My savings account is at least in positive territory. Stock was < $10 for a long time, plus dividends cut drastically. Since then, we've launched, umm, well DealChicken and killed Moms.

    The bank of Sealy & Serta has a better track record than G stock, sorry.

  4. He must be PADI certified - he sure likes being underwater!

  5. 2:28 p.m. said : "The bank of Sealy & Serta has a better track record than G stock, sorry."

    That depends on when you bought it -- speak for yourself. My gains in GCI have been outstanding, though I have no love for the company. And I believe this director's gains will be outstanding, too. So does he -- that's why he's buying.

    Mixing emotion (intense dislike for a company) with investing strategy will keep you poor. And there are no medals given out to nursing home residents who fought raging battles against others (GCI executives) who did not even know they were in a fight with you. A word to the wise -- or not, as the case may be.

  6. This guy must need the tax loss writeoff.


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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