The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Australian talks-down AFR's value


His comments come after the AFR last week published a positive note from Morgan Stanley about the valuation of the financial daily.

The report said the newspaper had a "bright future" and attached to the title a base value of $200 million.

But other valuations of the paper have indicated a value much lower than that. Bell Potter recently placed an enterprise value on the AFR of just $70m and the metropolitan newspapers of Fairfax, namely the SMH and The Age of $86m.

Morgan Stanley said the value for the AFR could even be as high as $380m, a valuation based on the estimated $30m price News Limited (publisher of The Australian) paid for Australian Independent Business Media, owner of Business Spectator, in June.

"That is a big number . . . in fact it is almost two times what we ascribe to the AFR in our current FXJ sum-of-parts valuation at $200m, or 9c a share," analyst Andrew McLeod said. The Bell Potter valuation puts the AFR's value at just 3c a share. Fairfax shares closed 1c higher yesterday at 54c.