Tuesday, January 01, 2008
$23B zapped in news stock value
The market value of the American newspaper publishers entering 2008 as independent, publicly traded companies has fallen by $23 billion, or 42%, since the end 2004, the year before the wheels started coming off the industry.Nearly half the slide in the market capitalization of newspaper stocks came in 2007, when the shares lost a collective $11 billion, or 26%, of their value. Thus, newspapers lost nearly as much value last year as they did in the two prior years put together.The vaporized value of newspaper shares in 2007 exceeded the combined $10 billion market caps of Gannett and McClatchy, the nation’s two largest publicly held publishers by circulation. And the $23 billion drop in shareholder value since yearend 2004 equals the current total value of all the common stock of Belo, Gannett, Lee Enterprises, Media General, McClatchy, the New York Times Co. and the Washington Post Co.The biggest losers in the three-year period were Journal Register Co., whose shares fell 91% to close 2007 at a mere $68.9 million in value; Sun-Times Media Group, which slid 86% to a market cap of $176.7 million, and McClatchy, which fell 82% to a value of $1.03 billion. Details for the balance of the group are in the table below.The declines compare with respective increases in the last three years of 17% and 15.6% in the Standard and Poor’s average of 500 stocks and the Dow Jones average of 30 industrials.The market values of only two American publishers have risen since 2004, the last year before advertising sales began crumpling after decades of delectably predictable growth.
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