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Yoo-Hoo, Belo -- the Wall Street Journal Thinks You're Cute. "Attractive," Even.

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A couple of weeks back, as we noted, a Citigroup analyst suggested Belo's stock was undervalued and underperforming because its newspapers were dragging down its TV stations' value. Day after that, Belo's stock hit a 52-week high. And a few days after that, Barron's suggested, hey, Belo might wanna just separate its broadcast and newspaper divisions after all.

Looks like Citigroup's Eileen Furukawa -- who predicted Belo stock hitting $33 if it divorced its operations -- is some kinda Oracle: Today, The Wall Street Journal likewise picks up on her prognostications and suggestifications and leads this story with this sentence: "Investors are noticing that Belo Corp.'s stock is a better deal than a Woolworth's discount bin." In other words: Buy, buy, buy! A few highlights from the story after the jump, but how far away are the relunctant Dealey heirs from giving into the profitable inevitable? --Robert Wilonsky

Shares of the company, which owns newspapers and television stations in large U.S. cities, lag behind other TV owners despite an attractive bundle of stations in important markets such as Dallas, Seattle and Phoenix.

The gap has narrowed in recent days, but there remains room for Belo shares to creep higher, especially -- as an analyst suggested recently -- if Belo splits off its television assets or takes other steps to spark its stock price.

The outlook isn't entirely rosy for Belo. A waning market for print advertising is hurting the company's newspapers. At the same time, it may be unwise to hope that Belo -- which is controlled by a family with a conservative financial bent -- will make drastic moves to boost its stock price...

hares of the company, which owns newspapers and television stations in large U.S. cities, lag behind other TV owners despite an attractive bundle of stations in important markets such as Dallas, Seattle and Phoenix.

The gap has narrowed in recent days, but there remains room for Belo shares to creep higher, especially -- as an analyst suggested recently -- if Belo splits off its television assets or takes other steps to spark its stock price.

The outlook isn't entirely rosy for Belo. A waning market for print advertising is hurting the company's newspapers. At the same time, it may be unwise to hope that Belo -- which is controlled by a family with a conservative financial bent -- will make drastic moves to boost its stock price....

Despite fundamentals working in its favor, Belo is saddled with problems. Its four newspapers have had a rocky performance, including a 9.3% adjusted revenue decline in the first quarter, as a soft market for newspaper advertising continues to wallop most publishers. Belo publishes the Dallas Morning News, Providence Journal, the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., and the Denton Record-Chronicle in Texas.

The promise of Belo's television stations and the woes of its newspapers have spurred calls for the company to separate the two divisions, or create a tracking stock for the TV group. Belo says the valuation gap is a blip. Investors give Belo credit for thoughtful long-term management, but continue to apply pressure to make strategic moves to buoy the stock price.

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