The risks of print media in a digital age are clear, and the ugly five-year return of USA Today publisher Gannett (NYSE:GCI) says it all. But Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway have been making headlines lately for big buys in the newspaper industry, apparently banking on a rebirth in these picks — including maintaining a big stake in Gannett.
Though share performance is admittedly are sketchy, Gannett’s dividend focus is clear. GCI just pushed its dividend up 500% in roughly a year! GCI stock was paying a mere 4 cents per quarter in July 2011, then upped its dividend to 8 cents in October and finally to 20 cents a quarter starting this spring. That’s good for a phenomenal 6.5% dividend yield at current valuations.
Also worth noting: Gannett dividends have been in force since 1929, so this is a company with a long history of paying back shareholders. (For further reading, InvestorPlace.com writer Tom Taulli recently stuck his neck out with 3 reasons Gannett is a buy.)