Journal Register Company (NYSE: JRC) has finally announced today that it hired Lazard Freres & Co. LLC as its financial advisor to help the company evaluate strategic options.
It noted concern over the state of the economy and the environment for print advertising. Frankly, this is a boondoggle of epic proportions. To top it off, last week it was given potential NYSE delisting notice.
The company tries to make at least some shinola out of an the current environment:
- It generated $90.3 million of EBITDA in 2007, above its $38.5 million interest expense; reduced debt by $105 million during 2007; has no scheduled principal payments due until Q2-2009.
We have covered the woes of this company in our "Old Media/New Media" weekly newsletter as one of the in-trouble companies for longer than we care to recall. The "alternatives" left at this point are few and far between now that management has waited this long to hire an advisor.
Shares are down a massive 64% today at $0.185. Before today, its 52-week trading range was $0.31 to $6.48. In 2004, this was a $20.00+ stock. But since that date, this company has been on a crash course to zero.
Jon C. Ogg
April 7, 2008
Jon Ogg can be reached at email@example.com; he produces the Special Situation Investing Newsletter and he does not own securities in the companies he covers.