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Scripps Networks' Strength In Ratings, Advertising Lead To Morgan Stanley Upgrade

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  • 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:

  1. Recent TV ad data points appear positive, “with healthy scatter pricing in 3Q continuing in Q4”
  2. 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

Aug 2017Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-Weight
Aug 2017NeedhamDowngradesBuyHold
Aug 2017ArgusDowngradesBuyHold

View More Analyst Ratings for SNI
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Morgan Stanley Ryan FiftalAnalyst Color Upgrades Price Target Analyst Ratings


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