By: Mark Fitzgerald
Four newspaper companies hit new 52-week lows Thursday as the industry’s stock slump generally outpaced even the Dow Jones Industrial Average sell-off of more than 3%.
Scraping new lows were Gannett Co. Inc.; Media General Inc.; The McClatchy Co.; and A.H. Belo, whose stock has lost 63% of its value since its spin-off as a newspaper pure-play just four months ago.
A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC) fell 59 cents, or 8.93% from its open to end trading Thursday at $6.02. It had traded in a range of $6.03 to $16.35.
Gannett (NYSE: GCI) closed at $21.79, down 96 cents, or 4.22. Its previous low had been $21.89. In the past year, it has traded as high as $55.80.
Media General (NYSE: MEG) hit a 52-week low of $12.95, trading off 83 cents, or 6.02%. It had traded in a range of $12.96 to $34.82.
McClatchy’s (NYSE: MNI) loss of 25 cents, or 3.33%, established a new 52-week low of $7.25. It had traded as low as $7.35 and as high as $28.73.
The Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) was a rare gainer on the day, closing at $594.50, up $2.90, or 0.49%. The Post Thursday declared a regular quarterly dividend of $2.15 per share, payable on Aug. 8, 2008, to shareholders of record on July 28, 2008.
Sun-Times Media Group Inc. (OTC BB: SUTM.OB) gained 2 cents on the day, enough for a 4.76% increase in the 44-cent share price.