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DAILY JOURNAL CORP. Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection


ISIN: US2339121046 , WKN: 873135

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Description of the company

The Company publishes newspapers and web sites covering California and Arizona and produces several specialized information services. It also serves as a newspaper representative specializing in public notice advertising. We often refer to this as “The Traditional Business”.


Journal Technologies, Inc. (“Journal Technologies”), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, supplies case management software systems and related products to courts and other justice agencies, including administrative law organizations, county governments and bar associations. These organizations use the Journal Technologies family of products to help manage cases and information electronically, to interface with other critical justice partners and to extend electronic services to the public, including efiling and a website to pay traffic citations online, and bar members. These products are licensed to more than 500 organizations in 42 states and internationally. Journal Technologies is the result of the October 1, 2014 merger of the Company’s three technology-related subsidiaries, which were previously separate companies: Sustain Technologies, Inc. (“Sustain”), a wholly owned subsidiary since 2008; New Dawn Technologies, Inc. (“New Dawn”), acquired in December 2012; and ISD Technologies, Inc. (“ISD”), acquired in September 2013.


Essentially all of the Company’s operations are based in California, Arizona, Colorado and Utah. Financial information of the Company, including information about each of the Company’s reportable segments, is set forth in Item 8 (“Financial Statements and Supplementary Data”).


Products and Services


The Traditional Business


Newspapers and related online publications. The Company publishes 10 newspapers of general circulation. Each newspaper, in addition to news of interest to the general public, has a particular area of in-depth focus with regard to its news coverage, thereby attracting readers interested in obtaining information about that area through a newspaper format. Each of these smaller publications has a website.


The publications are based in the following cities:


Newspaper publications

Base of publication

Los Angeles Daily Journal

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco Daily Journal

San Francisco, California

The Daily Recorder

Sacramento, California

The Inter-City Express

Oakland, California

San Jose Post-Record

San Jose, California

Orange County Reporter

Santa Ana, California

The Daily Transcript

San Diego, California

Business Journal

Riverside, California

The Record Reporter

Phoenix, Arizona


The Daily Journals. The Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal are each published every weekday except certain holidays and were established in 1888 and 1893, respectively. In addition to covering state and local news of general interest, these newspapers focus particular coverage on law and its impact on society. (The Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal are referred to collectively herein as ''The Daily Journals''.) Generally The Daily Journals seek to be of special utility to lawyers and judges and to gain wide multiple readership of newspapers sent to law firm subscribers.


The Daily Journals contain much material and render many services in a common endeavor. The Los Angeles Daily Journal is the largest newspaper published by the Company, both in terms of revenues and circulation. At September 30, 2017, the Los Angeles Daily Journal had approximately 4,800 paid subscribers and the San Francisco Daily Journal had approximately 2,600 paid subscribers as compared with total paid subscriptions for both of The Daily Journals of 7,800 at September 30, 2016. The Daily Journals carry commercial advertising (display and classified) and public notice advertising required or permitted by law to be published in a newspaper of general circulation. The main source of commercial advertising revenue has been local advertisers, law firms and businesses in or wishing to reach the legal professional community. The gross revenues generated directly by The Daily Journals are attributable approximately 59% to subscriptions and 41% to the sale of advertising and other revenues. Revenues from The Daily Journals constituted approximately 20% of the Company's total fiscal 2017 revenues, 20% in 2016, 18% in 2015, 19% in 2014 and 23% in 2013.


It is the policy of The Daily Journals (1) to take no editorial position on the legal and political controversies of the day but instead to publish well-written editorial views of others on many sides of a controversy and (2) to try to report on factual events with technical competence and with objectivity and accuracy. It is believed that this policy suits a professional readership of exceptional intelligence and education, which is the target readership for the newspapers. Moreover, The Daily Journals believe that they bear a duty to their readership, particularly judges and justices, as a self-imposed public trust, regardless, within reason, of short-term income penalties. The Company believes that this policy of The Daily Journals is in the long-term interest of the Company’s shareholders.


The Daily Journals contain the Daily Appellate Report which provides the full text and case summaries of all opinions certified for publication by the California Supreme Court, the California Courts of Appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit, the State Bar Court and selected opinions of the U.S. District Courts in California and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The Daily Journals also include a monthly court directory in booklet form. This directory includes a comprehensive list of sitting judges in all California courts as well as courtroom assignments, phone numbers and courthouse addresses, plus ''Judicial Transitions'' which lists judicial appointments, elevations, confirmations, resignations, retirements and deaths.


The Daily Journals are distributed by mail and hand delivery, with subscribers in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas usually receiving copies the same day. Certain subscribers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda, Orange, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties receive copies by hand delivery. The regular yearly subscription rate for each of The Daily Journals is $820.


Much of the information contained in The Daily Journals is available to subscribers online at


Daily Commerce. Published since 1917, the Daily Commerce, based in Los Angeles, in addition to covering news of general interest, devotes substantial coverage to items designed to serve real estate investors and brokers, particularly those interested in Southern California distressed properties. The nature of the news coverage enhances the effectiveness of public notice advertising in distributing information about foreclosures to potential buyers at foreclosures. The features of the paper include default listings and probate estate sales. The Daily Commerce carries both public notice and commercial advertising and is published in the afternoon each business day.


The Daily Recorder. The Daily Recorder, based in Sacramento, began operations in 1911. It is published each business day. In addition to general news items, it focuses on the Sacramento legal and real estate communities and on California state government and activities ancillary to it. Among the regular features of The Daily Recorder is news about government leaders and lobbyists, as well as the Daily Appellate Report for those who request it. Advertising in The Daily Recorder consists of both commercial and public notice advertising.


The Inter-City Express. The Inter-City Express (the ''Express'') has been published since 1909. It covers general news of local interest and focuses its coverage on news about the real estate and legal communities in the Oakland/San Francisco area. The Express carries both commercial and public notice advertising. It is published each business day.


San Jose Post-Record. The San Jose Post-Record (the ''Post-Record'') has been published since 1910. In addition to general news of local interest, the Post-Record, which is published each business day, focuses on legal and real estate news and carries commercial and public notice advertising.


Orange County Reporter. The Orange County Reporter (''Orange Reporter'') has been an adjudicated newspaper of general circulation since 1922. In addition to general news of local interest, the Orange Reporter reports local and state legal, business and real estate news, and carries primarily public notice advertising. The Orange Reporter is published three days a week.


The Daily Transcript. The Daily Transcript (San Diego) is published five days a week and carries general news of local interest and public notice advertising and has been an adjudicated newspaper of general circulation since 1909. The Daily Transcript also serves legal and real estate professionals in San Diego County.


Business Journal. The Business Journal, established in 1991, publishes news of general interest and provides coverage of the business and professional communities in Riverside County. It also carries public notice advertising and is published each business day.


The Record Reporter (Arizona). The Record Reporter has been in existence since 1914. In addition to general news of local interest, The Record Reporter, which is published three days a week, focuses on legal news and public record information and carries primarily public notice advertising.


Information Services. The specialized information services offered by the Company have grown out of its newspaper operations or have evolved in response to a desire for such services primarily from its newspaper subscribers.


The Company has several court rules services. One is Court Rules, a multi-volume, loose-leaf set. Court Rules reproduces court rules for certain state and federal courts in California. The Court Rules appear in two versions, one of which covers Northern California courts (nine volumes) and one of which covers Southern California courts (eight volumes). The Company updates Court Rules on a monthly basis. In addition, the Company publishes a single volume of rules known as Local Rules for major counties of California. Six versions are published for Southern California, each a single bound volume for the rules of: (1) Los Angeles County; (2) Orange County; (3) San Diego County; (4) San Bernardino County; (5) Riverside County; and (6) Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Also, the Company publishes single-volume rules for the Federal District Court in the Central District of California and California Probate Rules. In Northern California, three versions of the Local Rules appear in loose-leaf books for Santa Clara/San Mateo, Alameda/Contra Costa and San Francisco counties. The single volumes are normally updated or replaced whenever there are substantial rule changes.


The Judicial Profiles services contain information concerning nearly all active and retired judges in California. Most of the profiles have previously appeared in The Daily Journals as part of a regular feature. The Judicial Profiles include biographical data and financial disclosure statements on judges and information supplied by each judge regarding the judge's policies and views on various trial and appellate procedures and the manner in which appearances are conducted in his or her courtroom. Subscribers may purchase either the ten-volume set for Southern California or the eight-volume set for Northern California.


The Company also provides online foreclosure information to about 30 customers. This service primarily provides distressed property information, some of which also appears in some of the Company's newspapers, as well as expanded features. Consolidation of both newspapers and online products more effectively utilizes the costs of gathering such information.


Advertising and Newspaper Representative. The Company's publications carry commercial advertising, and most also contain public notice advertising. Commercial advertising consists of display and classified advertising and constituted about 7% of the Company’s total revenues in fiscal 2017, 7% in 2016, 8% in 2015, 9% in 2014 and 11% in 2013. Classified advertising has continued to decline primarily due to the continued downturn in the employment advertising marketplace and competition from online employment web sites.


Public notice advertising consists of many different types of legal notices required by law to be published in an adjudicated newspaper of general circulation, including notices of death, fictitious business names, trustee sale notices and notices of governmental hearings. The major types of public notice advertisers are real estate-related businesses and trustees, governmental agencies, attorneys and businesses or individuals filing fictitious business name statements. Many government agencies use the Company’s Internet-based advertising system to produce and send their notices to the Company. A fictitious business name web site enables individuals to send their statements to the Company for filing and publication and another web site enables attorneys and individuals to send probate, civil, corporate, public sale and other types of public notices to the Company. California Newspaper Service Bureau (“CNSB”), a division of the Company, is a statewide newspaper representative (commission-earning selling agent) specializing since 1934 in public notice advertising. CNSB places public notices and other forms of advertising with adjudicated newspapers of general circulation, most of which are not owned by the Company.


Public notice advertising revenues and related advertising and other service fees, including trustee sales legal advertising revenues, constituted about 21% of the Company's total revenues in fiscal 2017, 23% in 2016, 22% in 2015, 24% in 2014 and 35% in 2013. Most of these revenues were generated by (i) notices published in the Company’s newspapers, (ii) commissions and similar fees received from other publications in which the advertising was placed and (iii) service fees generated when filing notices with government agencies.


Trustee sales legal advertising revenues alone represented about 5% of the Company’s total revenues in fiscal 2017, 5% in 2016, 6% in 2015, 7% in 2014 and 17% in 2013. For several years, these revenues were driven by the large number of foreclosures in California and Arizona, for which public notice advertising is required by law, but the number of foreclosures has continued to decline. In addition, in many states, including California and Arizona, legislatures have considered various proposals which would result in the elimination or reduction of the amount of public notice advertising required by statute, and Arizona recently approved one such proposal for one particular notice type. There is a risk that such laws could change in a manner that would have a significant adverse impact on the Company's public notice advertising revenues.


Other revenues are attributable to service fees from users of an online foreclosure/fictitious business name database, fees from attorneys taking continuing legal education “courses” published in the Company’s publications and other miscellaneous fees.


Journal Technologies


Journal Technologies provides case management software and related services to courts and other justice agencies. Its operations constituted about 58% of the Company’s total revenues in fiscal 2017, 56% in 2016, 57% in 2015, 53% in 2014 and 37% in 2013. Journal Technologies earns revenue from license and maintenance fees paid by customers to use its software products; consulting fees paid by customers for installation, implementation and training services; and fees generated by the use of secure websites through which the general public can pay traffic citations. Journal Technologies has the following main products:


eCourt®, eProsecutor®, eDefender® and eProbation® — browser-based case processing systems that can be used by courts and other justice agencies for all case types because its screens, data elements, business rules, work queues, searches and alerts are highly configurable. Journal Technologies also supports its prior generation Justice Edition software, which is a Windows-based system that also provides for customizable configurability.


JustWare® — a family of case management software products for use by courts and other justice agencies. JustWare® provides a standardized case management system that includes business rules to automate tasks, document and report generation, digital signatures and shortcuts to speed data input. Journal Technologies also licenses its JusticeWeb® public access software, which allows the public to view certain case information, provides a means to create permission-based access for sensitive data, allows pro se litigants and attorneys to e-file documents and includes a way for case participants to make payments online.


ICMS™ — a court case management system, which was acquired as part of the acquisition of the ISD assets. Journal Technologies also licenses CASE™ — an automated probation case management system, including juvenile hall detention management features.


eFile™ — a browser-based interface that allows attorneys and the general public to electronically file documents with the court from a personal computer using the Internet at any time.


ePayIt™ — a service for the online payment of traffic citations. Users can pay traffic citations using the Internet at any time with a credit card, and can obtain traffic school and other information.


Almost all of Journal Technologies’ customers are government agencies, and most new software installation and licensing projects are subject to competitive bidding procedures. Accordingly, the ability of Journal Technologies to get new customers is highly unpredictable. In addition, budget constraints, especially during stressful economic times, could force governmental agencies to defer or forgo consulting services or even to stop paying their annual software maintenance fees. As a technology-based company, Journal Technologies’ success depends on the continued improvement of its products, which is why the costs to update and upgrade them consistently constitute such a significant portion of the Company’s expenses.


The Company’s revenues from Journal Technologies’ foreign customers were $276,000 in fiscal 2017, $221,000 in fiscal 2016 and $278,000 in fiscal 2015 and $332,000 in fiscal 2014. All of the Company’s other revenues in those years were attributable to the United States.


Materials and Postage


After personnel costs (included in “Salaries and employee benefits” and in “Outside services” in the accompanying consolidated statements of comprehensive income (loss)), postage and paper costs are typically the Company's next two largest expenses. Paper and postage accounted for approximately 5% of our traditional publishing segment's operating costs in fiscal 2017, 6% in 2016, 6% in 2015, 7% in 2014 and 7% in 2013. Paper prices may fluctuate substantially in the future, and periodic postal rate increases could significantly impact income from operations. Further, we may not be able to pass on such increases to our customers.


An adequate supply of newsprint and other paper is important to the Company's operations. The Company currently does not have a contract with any paper supplier. The Company has always been able to obtain sufficient newsprint for its operations, although in the past, shortages of newsprint have sometimes resulted in higher prices. The price of paper remained unchanged during fiscal 2017. We anticipate the price of paper will remain unchanged at least through June 2018.


We use the U.S. Postal Service for distribution of a majority of our newspapers. During the past several years, the Company has instituted changes in an attempt to mitigate higher postage costs. These changes have included contracting for hand delivery in selected sections of the San Francisco Bay area and in Santa Clara, Alameda, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and Los Angeles counties, delivering pre-sorted newspapers to the post office on pallets, which facilitates delivery and improves service, and implementing a method of bundling newspapers which reduces the per piece charges. In addition, the Company has an ink jet labeler which eliminates paper labels and enables the Company to receive bar code discounts from the postal service on some of its newspapers.


Postal rates are dependent on the operating efficiency of the U.S. Postal Service and on legislative mandates imposed upon the U.S. Postal Service. During the past several years, the U.S. Postal Service has increased postal rates. There were decreases in the Company’s aggregate postage costs during fiscal 2017 primarily due to fewer subscribers.

The Finanzoo GmbH assumes no liability for the accuracy of the information! All information is provided without warranty. Sources::,,


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