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November 03, 2006

Tribute Too Late to Diversify

posted by MR WAVETHEORY at 11/03/2006 01:31:00 AM

The Tribute Company (NYSE TRB) never made the bold step of moving onto the web. Now it's too late.

When Tribune Co.'s biggest shareholder, the Chandler family, first began agitating publicly earlier this year for the media empire to be sold or broken up, they argued such a radical move was needed to lift the company's long-stagnant stock price.

The Chandlers cited Wall Street analysis to suggest the stock, which had been trading around $30, could be worth as much $42 to $46 in a breakup.

The Chandlers may soon be regretting those arguments. Now that Tribune has finally taken their advice, putting the company on the market, the situation isn't looking so bright. With conditions in the newspaper industry deteriorating rapidly, the consensus on Wall Street is that Tribune shareholders should expect a sale to generate no more than the $32-$33 level at which the stock has lately been trading.

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