Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of newspaper publisher Gannett
So what: The publisher of USA Today saw its first-quarter profit drop 25% as advertising revenue continued to decline, triggering fresh concerns over Gannett's place in the ever-increasing digital world. The stock has risen nicely over the past six months on successful cost-cutting initiatives and decent online revenue growth, but today's news suggests that the secular headwinds facing management are just too strong to combat.
Now what: Despite the short-term blip, management remains focused on the long-term. "We expect to see returns on our strategic initiative investments as the year progresses and for many years to come," said CEO Gracia Martore. "We are squarely focused on leveraging the iconic brands, local connections and financial strength that differentiate our business to implement our growth plan while returning $1.3 billion to investors by 2015." Given the alarming trend of declining revenues, earnings, and margins, however, I'd require a much larger margin of safety before buying into that optimism.
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