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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014 12:01 am

TAKING STOCK

 While our colleagues at the State Journal-Register go without raises while toiling to deliver all the news that’s fit to print, they can take comfort in the fact that they are helping make someone rich. The stock of New Media Investment Group, the SJ-R’s parent company that rose from the ashes of the GateHouse Media bankruptcy, is on a bona fide tear. Shares that sold for $10.35 in February, when New Media stock was first offered to the public, were trading at $16.40 on Wednesday. That’s an increase of nearly 60 percent in six months. During the same time period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose less than 5 percent. New Media is so awash in money that it announced a 27-cent-per-share dividend for the second quarter at the end of July, less than two weeks after closing a deal to buy the Providence Journal in Rhode Island for $46 million. And the good times might just keep rolling – analysts have set target prices as high as $21 per share. Not bad for a company that still struggles to show a profit. Second quarter losses were $3.3 million, which is an improvement over the second quarter of last year when New Media didn’t exist and GateHouse posted a $14.1 million loss. The recently concluded second quarter was the sixth consecutive quarter of not losing as much as the quarter before, New Media CEO Michael Reed noted in announcing what passes for rosy financial results in the newspaper business these days. Stay bullish, and hum a bar of “We’re In The Money” next time you drive past SJ-R headquarters.

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