Weekly Media Stocks Roundup: Investors Stoked On NYT, MEG

wall_street_cover03262010.jpgShares in media companies logged gains nearly across the board this week, thanks in part to encouraging earnings reports from The New York Times Co. and fellow newspaper publisher Media General. Over the past five days, the S&P 500 rose 3.6% to end the week at 1103.

Following its Thursday earnings release, investors cheered The New York Times Co. (NYT) for breaking its streak of declining revenue figures with a 1.2% uptick in its top line. The modest revenue increase ended a multi-year streak of declines.

As The Awl’s Choire Sicha pointed out, the latest revenue improvement stands in contrast to the sharp cost-cutting and overall revenue declines the company has experienced in the past five years. NYT Co. shares rose 5.1% to $9.25.

Fellow newspaper publisher Media General (MEG), which also operates local TV stations, on Wednesday reported second-quarter operating income of $16.3 million, up 19% year over year. The company also posted a 2% increase in total revenue to $166.2 million. Shares rocketed 11% to $10.70.

Weekly stock results for Playboy Enterprises (PLA), Gannett and more after the jump.


Playboy Enterprises (PLA) on Tuesday announced the launch of its new website, “The Smoking Jacket.” The site features many of the trappings Playboy is known for, minus one key ingredient. The so-called “safe for work site” contains no nudity. There was little word about the ongoing bidding war between Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and FriendFinder Networks’ Marc Bell to purchase the company. Shares in Playboy inched up 0.9% to $5.42.

USA Today publisher Gannett (GCI), meanwhile, caught an upgrade from Barrington Research on Friday. Barrington slapped an “outperform” sticker on Gannett, citing “management’s demonstrated capability to execute even in very challenging environments,” among other things. Shares rose 4.1% to $14.06.

More media stock results:

• News Corp. (NWS): Up 6.1% at $15.01

• A. H. Belo (AHC): Up 9.9% at $7.21

• The Washington Post Co. (WPO): Down less than 1% at $425.41

Time Warner (TWX): Up 6.2% at $31.37

Meredith Corp. (MDP): Up 2% at $31.17

AOL (AOL): Up 1.3% at $21.02