Thursday, November 15, 2012

Harbinger Capital Unloads More NY Times Shares

Philip Falcone's hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners just recently filed an amended 13D and a Form 4 with the SEC in reference to shares of The New York Times (NYT). As per the Form 4, we learn that Harbinger sold 1,500,000 shares of NYT on March 26th at a price of $11.20. After the sales, Harbinger is left with 16,886,799 shares remaining. As per the amended 13D, we now see that this totals a 11.68% ownership stake in the company.

This is obviously a decrease from the last time when we looked at the NYT stake in Harbinger's portfolio. These recent sales come after Falcone's hedge fund reduced its NYT stake back in December and in November as well. So, the selling continues at a very controlled pace and we'll keep our eyes peeled for any future hints of just position size adjusting or a turn in sentiment.

Yet again, Harbinger has sold shares at a loss. The hedge fund initially acquired its stake between $15-20 per share almost two years ago when it invested over $500 million. While no one can deny the NYT is a tremendous brand and there is an asset there, we've wondered whether or not newspapers are a dying industry. They certainly have some business model problems to address in the near future. While Harbinger has sold shares numerous times, it appears as though it is still confident in the name as Harbinger still owns a large stake.

Harbinger of course is a multi-billion hedge fund focused on both distressed debt and equity plays. It often takes large, concentrated positions in companies and this NYT stake is the perfect example. Other recent news out of the hedge fund includes word that Harbinger plans to build a 4G wireless network. Additionally, last week we found out the hedge fund had boosted its stake in Sable Mining.

Taken from Google Finance:

The New York Times is "a diversified media company that includes newspapers, Internet businesses, investments in paper mills and other investments. The Company is organized in two segments: News Media Group and the About Group." For other investments Falcone's hedge fund has made, you can view the rest of Harbinger's portfolio here.

Original article

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