Now we know why.
A look at the Times’ SEC filings shows that the regional media group has tanked in the past half decade, and that it was particularly devastated by the economic recession. Amid dwindling revenue across the Times’ three news segments, the Regional Media Group — which includes 16 papers from California to Florida with a combined circulation of about 433,000 — has performed the worst in recent years.
At the end of last year, revenue for the Regional Media Group had fallen to 65% of what it was in 2001, and that’s without adjusting for inflation. Further, revenue has been cut almost in half from the highs of 2006.
Though revenue began to decline starting in 2006, it took a more precipitous plunge once the recession hit. In the second quarter of 2009, revenue for the Regional Media Group was down over 25% from where it was in the same quarter the previous year.
Those extreme plunges led the New York Times Company, in their most recent annual statement, to note that they could take action if the Regional Media Group did not turn around this year. “We believe that if the Regional Media Group’s projected cash flows are not met during 2011, a goodwill impairment charge is possible in 2011,” the company wrote.
In the first three quarters of 2011, the regional group still hadn’t turned things around. While the decline in revenue for the New York Times Media Group and the New England Media Group began to slow down, the regional group’s problems kept going.
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Apple’s price to earnings ratio is at a relatively paltry 14 right now, and it’s driving Apple bulls crazy.
The chart below, which shows Apple’s shrinking PE, from Apple analyst Andy Zaky has been passed around for the last week. (At the time Apple’s PE was 13.3.)
What’s wrong with this chart?
Zaky explains: “Now even though Apple’s growth has far and outpaced the growth of Oracle (16.35 P/E), Amazon (96.15 P/E), Google (19.19 P/E), Cisco (15.11), Qualcomm Inc. (20.62), Amgen, Inc (13.53), Comcast (15.11 P/E), IBM (13.95 P/E), Chevron (13.50), Johnson & Johnson (14.94 P/E), Procter & Gamble (15.49 P/E), and AT&T (13.91 P/E), the stock trades at a far lower valuation relative to these top holdings on the NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500. Some of these companies have actually contracted in 2011. Yet, the market values the earnings out of these companies on the order of 4-5 times more in some cases than they value the earnings out of Apple.”
Of course, there’s more than one way to value a stock. If you value it based on trailing free cash flow, it’s arguably priced fairly, says our Henry Blodget.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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