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Citigroup upgraded Dow Jones (DJ
) to in-line from underperform.
Analyst William Bird says a recent Wall Street Journal page count suggested a dramatic ramp-up in advertising page growth. He estimates that ad pages rose 200% year over year on Wednesday, 155% on Tuesday, and 79% on Monday. Wall Street Journal ad pages were up 23% so far in September, after a decline of 10% in August.
Bird says though three days doesn't necessarily make a trend, the uptick is striking, and he also hears more multi-page commitments are coming. He thinks Wall Street Journal will likely benefit from Hewlett-Packard's pre-Thanksgiving ad campaign. Though Dow Jones' valuation is high, in the near-term he thinks the apparent uptick in Wall Street Journal ad pages will likely be an important driver of the stock.