NY Times Downgraded, McClatchy Upgraded

By: E&P Staff

Deutsche Bank downgraded The New York Times Co. to “sell” from “hold” noting that the company’s “bread and butter category” — national consumer advertising — will fall short of expectations. Part of the reason: wireless advertising, which has been soft lately due to consolidation in the industry. The report notes that there is no clear replacement for this category.

The investment bank lowered its EPS estimates for 2004 from $2.01 to $1.97 and for 2005 from $2.10 to $2.06. Deutsche Bank believes the 2005 consensus of 8%-10% is “too high” and that Wall Street is “overly optimistic about the company’s revenue growth.”

Conversely, analyst Paul Ginocchio upgraded The McClatchy Co. from to “buy” from “hold.” Despite the fact that the firm originally thought that the company would have less leverage during the recovery, McClatchy keeps beating “top-line expectations.”

For 2005, Deutsche Bank increased its earnings per share (EPS) estimate to $3.58 from $3.50, two cents ahead of consensus.

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