) to buy from hold.
On Wednesday the company forecast 2003 earnings per share growth of at least 10%. Analyst Steven Barlow says the company gave a promising outlook at Media Week. He notes Pulitzer could achieve advertising revenue at the high end of an industry range in 2003.
Barlow says cost initiatives have prevented margin erorsion. He sees 100-200 basis points EBITDA margin expansion in 2003, higher than any other of the pure-play newspaper companies in his coverage. He notes Pulitzer's recent fall from an October high of $48, and thinks the current level is a favorable entry point.
Barlow raised his target to $51, and sees $1.80 2002 earnings per share, and $2.00 for 2003.