By: Mark Fitzgerald
On another brutal day for the newspaper sector Monday, shares of four chains hit all-time lows, led by a 21% plunge in GateHouse Media Inc. shares to 66 cents a share.
Also hitting new lows were The McClatchy Co., Lee Enterprises, and Sun-Times Media Group.
There was no particular news to explain the sell-off in GateHouse, whose stock has been cratering in the past three weeks. GateHouse (NYSE: GHS) closed at 66 cents, down 18 cents, or 21.43. Floor trading in GateHouse has been suspended, and the stock faces the risk of being de-listed from the Big Board.
The broader market was down on credit concerns, which could explain why Wall Street — wary lately of the ability of some newspaper companies to handle their high levels of debt — hammered virtually the entire sector.
Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) closed at $2.90, off 22 cents, or 7.05%, from its opening. Lee had traded in a 52-week range of $2.99 to $20.60.
The McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI) ended the day at $4.25, down 15 cents, or 3.41%. It had traded as high as $26.43 in the past year.
Sun-Times Media Group (OTC BB: SUTM.BB) also hit a new per-share low, closing at 26 cents a share.
Among losers on the day were Gannett Co. Inc., Media General Inc., The New York Times Co., Journal Communications, Inc., E.W. Scripps Co., and Journal Register Co., whose shares closed at 4 cents.