What happened

Shares of The New York Times (NYT -0.02%) closed 10.6% higher on Thursday, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, down slightly from an intraday gain of 11.8%. The move is in response to a newly disclosed activist investor's stake in the company.

So what

It was a much-needed bullish jolt for the struggling stock, which is still down 37% since November's high despite a recent wave of bullishness. Activist investor ValueAct Capital Management disclosed in a regulatory filing submitted Thursday that it's holding 11,014,741 shares of the stock, or a 6.7% stake in the newspaper company.

ValueAct explains in a letter obtained by Bloomberg that The New York Times' current stock price doesn't fully and fairly reflect its true potential. As is usually the case with activist investors, though, ValueAct has a plan to unlock that value. Bloomberg reports the letter reads "...most current readers and subscribers are interested in the bundle and would pay a large premium for it but are not aware the offering even exists." The letter goes on to say, "This is an opportunity we believe management needs to drive with urgency, as it is the biggest lever to accelerate growth, deepen NYT's competitive moat, and ensure the long-term strength and stability of the platform."

If these revitalization plan pans out, double-digit revenue growth as well as a tripling of the company's profit margins are possible, according to ValueAct's management.

Now what

Never say never.

Although the printed newspaper industry has been on the defensive for years, The New York Times is one of the names in the business that's endured by being endearing. The media company boasts more than 9 million paying subscribers across its printed and digital platforms, with 8.4 million of those being digital-only customers. As ValueAct suggests, a sizable proportion of these subscribers may not even be aware of all their bundling options by virtue of the highly crowded internet. It may only require a modest tweak to sell these existing subscribers more services.

Questions remain about the specifics of ValueAct's plans. Yet in that the activist investor outfit has a penchant for being a successful partner rather than an adversary, the newly formed rebound effort from The New York Times -- particularly following the steep sell-off over the course of the past few months -- makes it a compelling buy for aggressive investors.