Thursday, June 07, 2012

Stock | When Corporate talks, investors often balk

As management preps for one of its annual presentations to Wall Street, Gannett investors might consider what happened to the stock price right after similar get-togethers in the past.

More often than not, it fell.

I looked at 14 of these annual events since 2007, and found that on average, GCI fell nearly 1% when trading ended on the day of the event. My analysis relied on historical stock prices published on Corporate's website.

Publicly traded companies like Gannett update influential Wall Street stock analysts at conferences often held in New York. Top executives answer questions from analysts, who use the information to recommend whether investors buy, sell or hold shares in the companies.

Led by CEO Gracia Martore, Corporate's next presentation is two weeks from today, at the annual meeting of the Media and Entertainment Analysts of New York. The mid-day meeting will be webcast to the public, with a replay available through July 10.

To be sure, daily price changes varied widely across those 14 presentations, my analysis found.

Shares fell more than 5% after a March 14, 2008, presentation to the Media and Entertainment Analysts. And they jumped more than 4% on a meeting of the UBS Media and Communications Conference on Dec. 7 of last year.

A roller-coaster ride
This spreadsheet shows all the relevant figures. It also tells a story of GCI's roller-coaster ride over the past five years, when the newspaper industry entered its own recession.

In March 2007, GCI closed at $58.25. It closed yesterday at $12.85, up 4% on a broad market rally that lifted all major indexes. (Current share price.)

Of course, as investment professionals always caution: Past performance is no guarantee of future results, so don't bet the farm.

Related: Here's a list of all presentations since 2003, including those during quarterly earnings conference calls. The links include documents and transcripts.


  1. Analysts-know bullshit when yhe see it. Dubow was about as beleivable as a third rate local tv station manager. For all Martore's sarcastic bravado and hand gestures, the proof is in delivering actual results, not hollow promises and faux initiatives.

  2. Let's hope she doesnt present the new purpose wall. Groan.

  3. I wonder if she will mention Deal Chicken

    1. Probably not. She's chicken.

  4. Why is she still working there? She's well over 50. Can't they find someone who's younger and cheaper?

  5. Nice analysis, Jim. All the smoke and mirrors b.s. doesnt cover uo the fact that management has no clue.

  6. I went to one of these a couple of years ago. I made a point to eavesdrop on some conversations. I came to believe the bankers do NOT know that it's bullshit. It seems like an insider's club, full of superficiality. The bean counters back at the ranch may have more power than the gladhand muckety-mucks who attend the presentation ... at least, let's hope so for the sake of the economy.

  7. Can't wait for another sophomoric Martore presentation, these are the best of times, my friends.

    Normally one has to pay to watch such theatrics and in a few weeks, if you know how to time your short sale, you will be paid handsomely to watch the show. Bring the popcorn!

  8. The Street has a piece on GCI's upcoming report.


    The media and marketing company reported first-quarter net income on April 16 of $68.2 million, or 28 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $90.5 million, or 37 cents a share.

    "We met with GCI management, who reiterated plans to improve top-line growth and profitability through numerous initiatives, including a paid model at Community Publishing, enhanced sports content at USA Today and better marketing services offerings in local markets," JPMorgan analysts wrote in a May 21 report. "We believe GCI's move to implement a paid model at Community Publishing and an enhanced local sales force (who can sell digital and other offerings) offer the best prospects to improve profitability at the local newspaper business, but as it is still early in the transition we look for additional data points before becoming more constructive on shares and reiterate our Neutral rating."

  9. Neutral rating = A kind way of saying you wouldnt touch this stock with a 10 foot pole.


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