This dovetails with Wick’s previous post. What caught my ear in today’s A. H. Belo conference call (it wasÂ a webcast earnings report) was that the company’s plans to sell real estate to shore up its bottom lineÂ are on hold, Belo President, Chairman and CEOÂ RobertÂ Decherd said inÂ the earnings call.Â Â Jump for details.
“It will be awhile before we get what I would characterize fair value for real estate,” Decherd said, in answer to a questionÂ posed during today’s fourth-quarter earnings call. “We want to be actively marketing the properties and holding our expectations for fair value going forward.” While selling off unneeded real estate is generally a good idea, it’s also a sign thatÂ a company is scratching to make ends meet. Regardless, Decherd said, Belo’s real-estate holdings represent a significant value;Â the company’s sale ofÂ its properties in Rockwall and in Corona, Calif.,Â nettedÂ Belo about $530,000, he said.Â Belo listsÂ nearly half (about $264 million) of its assets as property, plant, and equipment. So, if anyone is looking for some prime real estate in downtown Dallas, maybe Decherd is accepting reasonable offers. Decherd said he’s discussed the possibility of selling Belo real estate before; it’s just that, right now, it’s a buyer’s market.Â One of the company’s major cost reductions–cutting 500 employees–should mostly be completed by the end of the March, according to Decherd. At of the end of 2008, the company employed 2,950 full-time workers (including my wife)Â and 400 part-timers.