With Entercom Communications stock signaling a comeback from a COVID-19 fueled downturn in value that brought it to its lowest closing prices since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.
Punctuated by a 20% gain immediately after Thursday’s market open, and a closing price reflecting a 30% session gain, investors may be finally ready to cheer for the audio media company that owns Radio.com, podcast players Cadence13 and Pineapple Street, and the former CBS Radio stations.
That said, the man who in 1968 founded Entercom has snagged even more shares, grabbing them at prices few anticipated ahead of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to an SEC filing made May 20, Entercom disclosed that its Chairman Emeritus, Joseph Field, has increased his total number of shares to more than 15 million.
Field purchased, in aggregate, 1.2 million shares of Entercom common stock. According to a Form 4 filing, the purchases are comprised of 423,908 Class A common shares at $1.2232 a piece, made May 18; the acquisition of 576,092 Class A shares on May 19, at $1.352 a piece; and the acquisition of 200,000 Class A shares at $1.433 a piece on May 20.
This puts the total number of shares owned by Joseph Field at 15,151,336.
By comparison, No. 2 shareholder David Field, his son and current President/CEO, holds 2.45 million shares (as of March 1).
The stock buys are a big value for Entercom’s founder, as trading early Thursday brought ETM back to prices last seen on March 31. Because of the pandemic, soft radio advertising and continued challenges in key markets such as Los Angeles, Entercom shares on April 7 tumbled to $0.77. The last time that price was seen: October 2008.
Field served as CEO at Entercom from 1968 to May 3, 2002, and its President from 1968 to September 1998. Before entering the broadcasting business, he practiced law for 14 years in New York (including service as an Assistant United States Attorney) and in Philadelphia. He serves as a Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association, the Curtis Institute of Music, The Mary Louise Curtis Bok Foundation, the Settlement Music School, the American Interfaith Institute, the National Liberty Museum, the Jewish Education and Vocational Service (JEVS), and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Field also served as a NAB Director from 1992 to 1996.
Entercom was among the companies Simply Wall St. recently took a magnifying glass to when pouring over the Q1 2020 results — and what analysts had to say. Their report? Entercom is highly regarded, and investors seem to be paying attention, given the action on ETM Thursday.
With volume of 4.94 million on average volume of 1.88 million shares, ETM finished Thursday’s trading up $0.4250, to $1.8550.
While that’s nothing compared to where shares were until mid-February, ETM is at its best price since March 25 — a sign that the worst may be over for the audio broadcasting company celebrating 52 years of operation.