December 09, 2008

Talking about timing tipping the Times (ugh)

Mick makes a good case that a newspaper website won't approach Google in ad revenue. I say there's great potential to improve the NYT content and grow the readership. The NYT is different from all other US papers - it's more widely read by the powerful and wannabes. To the rest of the world, it's the single daily which represents America. It's just that it's so mismanaged and so disrespected that it can't exploit it's uniqueness.

My focus is the stock price. Right now there's nothing in the price for the trophy value or brand value of the business. In a bull market it could easily be worth $5b to own the NYT + 58% of the NYT building + a stake in the Red Sox + + The Boston Globe and some other stuff, but even after the 50% rise since I placed my bet a few days ago the market cap. is only $1b. That $5b guess is without thinking about a hook-up or takeover by a Yahoo! or Google or Microsoft.

Another factor here is that the market may have bottomed - I think so. It touched 7,500 just before Obama started to announce that his economic team would consist of sane experts like Volcker and Summers. Before that it was possible that the US economy would be governed by socialists. There's a Tsunami of money sequestered in zilch interest assets like gold and Treasuries. If that flows back into equities, there'll be an overshoot to the upside taking us back to 12,000 at least. Another tip was Genco (para 6) - a dry bulk shipper under the cosh thanks to the 90% drop in the Baltic Index. Genco's up 60%. I'd still tip potentially bankrupt GM (some good cars, much lower gas prices, incentive to reform the cost base) and Xstrata (base metals). Last Friday the market saw unexpectedly bad employment figures and went up. That's not any bear market I recognize.