Yellow Media Inc. - formerly an income trust and now a corporation - has been pretty good at building an online presence as the relevance of those big phone books declines. Still, this can't be good news for the stock.
From The Globe and Mail's Siri Agrell: "It was a scene that will be familiar to home owners across Canada: Phone books had been delivered to someone who did not want them. "
Only in this case, the recipient of the unwanted directories was the Montreal headquarters of the Yellow Pages Group, the company that delivers 23 million directories across Canada each year.
"You deliver them to people's houses without permission, why can't we deliver them back to you?" asked 32-year-old Montreal resident Aimee Davison, in a video of the Oct. 22 delivery that has been viewed thousands of times online.
Along with Kyle MacDonald, Ms. Davison is the co-founder of the Yellow Page Mountain initiative, an attempt to cease the unwanted delivery of phone books across Canada."
You can read more here. For all the apparent challenges to its business, Yellow Pages has actually navigated through the turmoil remarkably well. It has remained highly profitable, even during the depths of the recession, while revenues continue to grow steadily. The shares are up 11.9 per cent this year, and have a total return (including payouts) of 28.4 per cent for the past 12 months.
Still, common sense suggests that a big part of its businesss -- the printed directories -- are in serious trouble. As well, despire assurances from analysts that this was a blue-chip income trust, the unit price (and now the share price, since its conversion into a corporation), reflects concerns from investors. The shares have slid 65 per cent since 2006, giving the shares a current dividend yield of about 13 per cent.