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Bear Stearns Hikes New York Times Co. Rating

Bear Stearns upgraded its investment rating on New York Times Co. (NYT) to buy from attractive.

Analyst Kevin Gruneich says the company has been among his top three diversified newspaper picks. He now believes it has more upside than any stock in the sub-sector. Gruneich notes that in the past month, the company been trimming its staff an unprecedented 8%-9%, along with taking numerous other meaningful cost-control measures. Gruneich says this should provide what is already one of the most cyclical newspaper groups a heightened bounce when a recovery occurs. He also notes that the company's advertising comparisons ease much more dramatically than its peers, proving more upside estimate pressure. Gruneich sees EPS of $2.10 in 2001 and $2.40 in 2002. He has a $53-$54 price target.

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