My house, worth more than Journal Register?
I was reading a Forbes article about the distressing state of some of the worse-off U.S. newspaper publishers and how their debt threatens to send them into default, or worse yet, maybe out of business. That’s when I came across this distressing nugget:
The problem may be particularly acute for players who have concentrated on acquisitions in the last few years. For instance, Journal Register Co. (nyse: JRC – news – people ), whose stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange this year, bought nothing but trouble when it paid $415 million in 2004 for 21st Century Newspapers, a chain of Michigan papers that have been battered by a troubled U.S. automotive industry.
The company now has $642 million in debt and a market cap of a just $275,000 (not a misprint). It’s rated junk by Moody’s. Journal Register did not return a call for comment.
I recalculated Journal Register’s market cap this afternoon, when it closed up 16.67% to
7 cents a share. (Reader Dan points out my goof. Journal Register closed up to 0.7 cents a share. Which proves my point, of course — My house is worth more than Journal Register. — RM) By the figures we have available to us, that puts its value at about $2.8 million. Then I ran the calculation again, this time based on Journal Register’s 12-month low price of $0.004 cents a share. I came up with $157,440. That’s when it hit me: On that day, Sept. 26, 2008, Journal Register was worth about half as much as Zillow says my 980 square-foot two-bedroom 1.5-bathroom house in Jersey City, NJ, is worth.
The big difference? Journal Register has payroll. I have only a cat.