Blood On ‘The Street’: McClatchy Hits All-Time Low As Gannett, Others Scrape 52-Week Bottom

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By: Mark Fitzgerald

Wall Street beat up The McClatchy Co. Wednesday, reacting to its first-quarter tumble in revenue by bidding its stock down to an all-time low.

McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) ended 4 p.m. EDT trading at $8.30, off 57 cents, or 6.93%. It had traded in a 52-week range of $8.32 to $39.32.

Before markets opened, McClatchy reported a narrow loss of $993,000, or 1 cent per share, on revenue that fell 13.8%. Ad revenue was down 15.3% on results that included a 35.8% plunge in real estate classified and a 33.4% tumble in help-wanted classified.

On a day in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 42.99 points, investors were not in much of a mood to buy newspaper stocks. Three companies hit new 52-week lows, and Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) closed at its previous 52-week bottom of $7.26, ending the day off 23 cents, or 2.94%.

Gannett Co. (NYSE: GCI) closed at $25.86, down $1.60, or 5.83%. Its previous 52-week range had been $27.25 to $61.68.

On the eve of its annual meeting — and a proxy confrontation with the dissident shareholder group Harbinger Capital Partners — Media General (NYSE: MEG) closed at a new 52-week low of $13.40, off 51 cents, or 3.67%. Its previous range had been $13.77 to 38.65.

The recently created newspaper pure-play A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC) established a new low of $9.69, falling 86 cents, or 8.15% from its opening. Its chairman, Robert Decherd, warned Tuesday that its first-quarter results will be worse than had been expected. A.H. Belo previously traded in a range of $10.15 to $16.35.

The New York Times Co., E.W. Scripps Co., and Journal Register Co. all ended trading on the upside.

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