Shares of most newspaper publishers surged in midday trading Tuesday, following a report that News Corp. made a bid to buy Dow Jones & Co.
Financial news network CNBC reported that Rupert Murdoch’s media company offered to buy the company for $60 a share. That would value Dow Jones at about $5 billion.
Spokesmen for Dow Jones and News Corp. did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Dow Jones, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and other newspapers, along with its namesake business newswires and the online MarketWatch service, is controlled by the Bancroft family through a special class of shares and cannot be taken over without their consent.
Shares of Dow Jones leaped $20.95, or 57.7 percent, to $57.28 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock hit $57.88 immediately following the news, its highest point since April 15, 2002, and the first time it has traded over $50 in more than three years.
Shares of News Corp. slipped 65 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $23.35 on the NYSE.
Elsewhere in the sector, shares of McClatchy Co. gained $1.45, or 5 percent, to $30.35 on the NYSE. The stock has been trading in a 52-week range of $28.80 to $47.73.
Washington Post Co.’s stock gained $16.90, or 2.3 percent, to $760.90 on the NYSE. The stock has been trading in a 52-week range of $690 to $815.
New York Times Co.’s stock gained $2.35, or 10 percent, to 25.75 on the NYSE. The stock has been trading between $21.54 and $26.90 over the past 52 weeks.
E.W. Scripps Co. added 69 cents, to $43.99 on the Big Board. The company’s stock has been trading in a range of $40.86 to $53.39 over the past 52 weeks.
Gannett Co. added $2.99, or 5.3 percent, to $60.05 on the NYSE. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $51.65 and $63.50.
American Depositary shares of Reuters Group PLC, whose business newswire is a direct competitor to Dow Jones’ service, gained $1.27, or 2.2 percent, to $58.51 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.