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GANNETT CO. INC. $6.26 (New York symbol GCI; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector: Shares outstanding: 232.4 million; Market cap: $1.5 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 0.2: WSSF Rating: Average) will start selling an online edition of USA Today, its flagship newspaper, in August. The company already sells an electronic version of USA Today through Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader service.
Online newspapers face strong competition from free Internet news sources. But USA Today aims to use exclusive content to attract online subscribers. As well, unlike the print version, the online edition will publish a weekend edition. Moreover, online publishing is cheaper than printing and delivering newspapers, so Gannett needs fewer subscribers to earn a profit on this project.
Gannett is a buy.
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