Briefs by NewsInc


By NewsInc

  • Publication Date: 2008-03-24
  • Genre: Business & Personal Finance

Book Summary

*GateHouse cuts dividend; starts stock buyback: One of the signature ways GateHouse Media Inc. planned to warm its way into the hearts of Wall Street was to provide industry atypically large dividends; that strategy came to an end earlier this month when the company announced that its first quarter dividend would be 20 cents, half of what the dividend had been last year. At the same time, GateHouse directors said they had authorized management to buy back as much as $75 million in stock. "Given the current market environment we believe our internally generated cash is our best and cheapest source of capital," the Fairport, N.Y. publisher said in a statement. In light of these actions, two Wall Street analysts sent out notes to clients last week. Leland Westerfield of BMO Capital Markets said he believes the dividend cut doesn't fix the company's debt issues and may be signalling a default. He reduced his stock price target range from $10 to $5. John Janedis of Wachovia Capital Markets LLC lowered his full-year earnings estimate of the company from 31 cents per share to 14 cents. *Orlando ends office copies: The Orlando Sentinel said in a staff memo last week that starting March 31, it would stop delivering physical copies of the paper to its offices. Starting that day, employees will have access to a digital version of the paper created with software from Pressmart Media Ltd., of India and New York City. The paper said that employees can access the Sentinel's digital edition on a web browser, a mobile phone, as a podcast or an RSS feed. Employees will see the entire print content of the paper, including pictures, ads and add-on multimedia content. Articles may also be accessed at any desktop with speakers as streaming audio. "The decision to begin offering a digital edition was made in an effort to cut costs while expanding our digital product selection to our customers," said the memo. "In addition, there are significant financial benefits to the Sentinel, including increased ABC-audited circulation, lowered printing and distribution costs, and reduced future archival costs."

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