May 17, 2017 Last Updated 4:25 pm

Its share price at a 52-week low, New Media Investment Group approves stock repurchase plan

Other media companies also saw their stocks fall hard today, including shares of Time Inc., tronc and Gannett, as Wall Street lurched in the wake of continuing White House scandals

The stock market took quite a hit today, with the Dow dropping 372 points, or 1.78 percent. The NASDAQ was hit even harder, dropping 158 points, or 2.57 percent. The reason is being blamed on the White House turmoil, though these things can happen, you know.

But it also means that a few stocks that weren’t doing all that great to begin with took another beating. Time Inc. shares, for instance, which were above $18 when there was still talk about a sale, fell another 4 percent today to fall below $12 a share. Gannett fell over 3 percent, while NYT shares fell a more modest 1.2 percent.

New Media Investment Group, which publishes newspapers under the GateHouse Media name, saw is shares fall 3.5 percent to $11.87 a share, its new 52-week low.

But the stock should get a temporary boost tomorrow as after the bell today the company announced that the company’s board of directors had authorized a stock repurchase program of up to $100 million in common stock over the next 12 months.

New Media is an aggressive acquirer of newspaper properties, having fairly recently closed on deals for the Columbia Daily Tribune and Rochester Business Journal, and Harris Enterprises, which has papers in Kansas and Iowa. But like other newspaper groups, it is seeing its print advertising decline. But total revenue was flat, and on a same-store basis not bad, as well.

The company, though, only generated net income of $14.5 million, so whether they can actually follow through on spending $100 million on a share repurchase plan will have to wait and see.

Here is New Media Investment Group’s announcement:

NEW YORK, NY — May 17, 2017 — New Media Investment Group Inc. announced today that the Company’s Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million of the Company’s common stock over the next 12 months.

Under the program, the Company may purchase its shares from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The amount and timing of the purchases will depend on a number of factors including the price and availability of the Company’s shares, trading volume, capital availability, Company performance and general economic and market conditions. The Company may also from time to time establish a trading plan under Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or effect one or more tender offers, to facilitate purchases of its shares under this authorization. The stock repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

“We believe our current stock price is at a significant discount to the intrinsic value of our company. We continue to firmly believe in our cash flows that support the dividend, our growth prospects, including our acquisition pipeline, and our long term strategy,” New Media Chief Executive Officer Michael E. Reed said. “This stock repurchase program announced today demonstrates our confidence in the strength of our business and commitment to delivering value to our shareholders.”

Comments are closed.