The terrible year-end showing wasn't a surprise. But here's the bottom line: Wall Street's growing disenchantment cost stockholders billions in equity. GCI's falling share price was likely at least one factor in CEO Craig Dubow's decision to ratchet up job cuts in the year's second half, when much of the loss in stock value occurred (see chart, above). And given current trends -- i.e., no shift in Dubow's thinking about breaking up Gannett -- it's hard to see GCI shares going anywhere but further down. That points to yet more job cuts in 2008 -- something Dubow (above) already promised Wall Street media stock analysts in this statement after the UBS media conference on Dec. 5.
The complete 2007 stock performance rankings:
- McClatchy: down 71%
- Gannett: down 35%
- New York Times Co.: down 28%
- E.W. Scripps: down 10%
- Belo: down 5%
- News Corp.: down 5%
- Washington Post Co.: up 6%
Note: I'm not including two of the better-performers from earlier in the year -- Dow Jones & Co. and Tribune -- because those shares no longer trade after both companies were sold earlier this month.
Compare the performance of the news stocks above to:
[Chart: Google Finance; Dubow photo, Gannett]