Heart-Argyle: A Low Ball Bid

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Privately held Hearst Corp is bidding for the portion of Heart-Argyle (HTV) that it does not already own.

Hearst owns just over 50% of HTV and has offered $23.50. According to The Wall Street Journal "Investors, apparently banking that first offer won’t be the last, quickly sent Hearst-Argyle shares above the offer price." The shares traded for $28 in April.

With the 2008 elections coming up, HTV shareholders would be foolish to take less than $30 for their shares. According to Reuters "Wall Street analysts predict television stations alone could bring in a record $2 billion to $3 billion from the 2008 election cycle, up from $1.6 billion in 2006 and $900 million in 2004."

With the election windfall coming it would not be surprising to see HTV operating income rise from the $388 million it brought in last year to its 2004 level of $424 million.

Right now, HTV shares are cheap.

Douglas A. McIntyre