The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Washington Post Company stock price lurch - what's the story?

A novice question, no doubt: according to the six month chart, the stock had risen steadily from around $850 to $950 from the beginning of August to the beginning of October 2004 on volumes generally steady at or below 20,000 a day; then a slide back toward the $850 mark over the first 25 days or so of October, followed by a recovery to a plateau of around $950 from mid November to mid December; a spike, on seasonally thin volumes, to $1,000 over the Christmas-New Year period, followed by a fall to $900 over the first few days of January.

But the volume of January trading has been markedly higher - a spike of 60,000 shares on one day - that's around $50m worth on a market capitalisation of $8.7bn. The one year chart does not suggest that high volumes are a seasonal feature of the stock at this time of year. (The 60,000 day happened toward the bottom of the recent fall - were these shares that had previously been shorted, so as to have affected the price before they were booked as sold? I did say novice...)

The only sign of recent corporate activity is the completion of the purchase of Slate for an undisclosed price.

The recent movement is in striking contrast to the Dow - which enjoyed a much more modest fall over the period.



I see that, at the Motley Fool last April, they were recommending the Post Co as a stock to watch, but overpriced. It had just enjoyed a $60-$70 bounce on higher than usual volumes to around $930.

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