Stock Report for Lee Enterprises Inc. (LEE)
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    Small-Cap Stock on Watch: Lee Enterprises Inc. (LEE)

    Small-Cap Stock on Watch: Lee Enterprises Inc. (LEE)

    Lee Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: LEE) shot up more than 39% to reach an intraday high of $1.53 Tuesday, extending gains into a second day. Shares in the newspaper company saw a spike on Monday after news broke that the company won court approval of a bankruptcy exit plan.

    LEE added $0.40, or 36.4%, to close trade at $1.50.  The stock has so far reached a 52-week high of $3.47, its 52-week low being $3.47. Market capitalization currently stands at 67.44 million and it has 44.96 million outstanding shares.

    The Davenport, Iowa-based company said it has successfully completed the remaining steps to enable its refinancing agreements to go into effect at the end of this month. The agreements extend the maturities of the company’s borrowings to December 2015 and April 2017.

    The company is expected to officially exit bankruptcy protection on January 30, 2012, when the plan of reorganization becomes effective.

    According to court documents, equity holders under the plan will keep their interests in the company and won’t be wiped out, as in most bankruptcies. Unsecured creditors will also be unaffected by the restructuring.

    “This is a favorable outcome we fully expected, and it provides Lee with a nearly four-year runway to continue improving our balance sheet,” Mary Junck, chairman and CEO of Lee Enterprises, commented in the release.  According to Junck, the completion of the company’s Chapter 11 process, which commenced on December 12, 2011, did not affect employees, vendors, contractors, customers or any aspect of company operations.

    “The refinancing, along with our ongoing strong cash flow, will keep Lee on solid financial footing as we continue reshaping our company and building on our unique strengths. Because of our intensive sales culture and evolving array of products, Lee has outpaced the industry in advertising revenue performance for 33 quarters in a row. Even in a challenging economy, more than 80% percent of adults in our larger markets read or use our print and digital products each week, including two-thirds of 18- to 29-year-olds. All of this reinforces our optimism for the future.”

    Lee Enterprises is a provider of local news and information, and a major platform for advertising, in its markets, with 48 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others, rapidly growing digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 23 states. Its newspapers have circulation of 1.3 million daily and 1.7 million Sunday, reaching nearly four million readers in print alone. The company’s markets include St. Louis, MO; Lincoln, NE; Madison, WI; Davenport, IA; Billings, MT; Bloomington, IL; and Tucson, AZ.

    LEE shares have gained 100.0% in the last five days and 102.7% in the last month.  Year-to-date, the stock is down 51.1%.

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