Scripps Networks' Strength In Ratings, Advertising Lead To Morgan Stanley Upgrade
- Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (NYSE: SNI) shares are down 24 percent year-to-date, declining sharply from July through October.
- Morgan Stanley’s Ryan Fiftal upgraded the rating on the company from Underweight to Equal-Weight, while raising the price target from $55 to $59.
- While Scripps Networks’ shares have underperformed peers, the company appears poised to benefit from ratings strength and a stable TV ad market, Fiftal said.
Scripps Networks’ stock has lagged peers by 25pts over the past 2 years. With the shares trading at the lower-end of peers, they already reflect the company’s modestly below-average growth outlook, creating a more balanced risk/reward profile, analyst Ryan Fiftal mentioned.
Scripps Networks’ exposure to advertising is about 70 percent of total revenue, which is above that of its peers. This continues to be a risk, “particularly given our relatively cautious medium-term outlook for TV advertising,” Fiftal commented.
The analyst identified two positives:
- Recent TV ad data points appear positive, “with healthy scatter pricing in 3Q continuing in Q4”
- The company is relatively well positioned to leverage this strength, given above-peer ratings
US affiliate revenue constitutes about 30 percent of Scripps Networks’ total revenue. While US affiliate revenue growth is also at risk, the company’s “price / value equation appears favorable,” Fiftal wrote.
In the report Morgan Stanley noted, “Following better than expected 3Q results, we raise our US Networks ad revenue estimate to +2.0% (from +1.6% prior) in '16, and TVN local currency revenue growth to 3.3% (from +2.7%).”
The EPS estimates for 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been raised from $4.34 to $4.34, from $4.82 to $4.89 and from $5.05 to $5.15, respectively.
Latest Ratings for SNI
|Oct 2016||Bank of America||Downgrades||Neutral||Underperform|
|Sep 2016||Moffett Nathanson||Downgrades||Neutral||Sell|
|Aug 2016||Evercore ISI Group||Downgrades||Buy||Hold|
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