Zacks Investment Research Downgrades TEGNA (NYSE:TGNA) to Strong Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of TEGNA (NYSE:TGNA) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research note published on Monday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $17.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “TEGNA shares have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. The company expects its paying subscriber base to exceed that of the industry due to its presence in key markets. Moreover, the company’s continued acquisitions of local TV stations, including the Big Four affiliates, are likely to drive political ad revenues, owing to higher spending related to the 2020 presidential elections. Moreover, the company has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, increasing programming fees, primarily higher reverse compensation fees, are expected to drag margins down in the near term. Moreover, intense competition and a leveraged balance sheet due to frequent acquisitions are major headwinds.”

Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Stephens lowered shares of TEGNA from an overweight rating to an equal rating and dropped their price target for the company from $19.00 to $17.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. Evercore ISI began coverage on shares of Ascendis Pharma A/S in a research report on Monday, March 25th. They issued an outperform rating on the stock. Noble Financial set a $26.00 price target on shares of Cumulus Media and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Finally, Benchmark reissued a buy rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of TEGNA in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $16.13.

Shares of TGNA opened at $15.60 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.52, a PEG ratio of 1.26 and a beta of 1.44. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $15.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12, a quick ratio of 1.61 and a current ratio of 1.61. TEGNA has a twelve month low of $10.24 and a twelve month high of $16.57.

TEGNA (NYSE:TGNA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 9th. The company reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.27 by $0.02. TEGNA had a net margin of 18.91% and a return on equity of 30.61%. The firm had revenue of $516.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $512.45 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.33 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that TEGNA will post 1.25 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 7th were given a $0.07 dividend. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.79%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, June 6th. TEGNA’s dividend payout ratio is 15.30%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Empowered Funds LLC acquired a new stake in TEGNA during the second quarter worth $2,095,000. Investors Research Corp boosted its stake in TEGNA by 4.8% during the second quarter. Investors Research Corp now owns 17,475 shares of the company’s stock worth $265,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Dorsey Wright & Associates acquired a new stake in TEGNA during the second quarter worth $1,823,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of TEGNA by 201.3% during the first quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 51,221 shares of the company’s stock valued at $722,000 after acquiring an additional 34,221 shares during the period. Finally, Allstate Corp bought a new position in shares of TEGNA during the first quarter valued at $195,000. 97.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

TEGNA Company Profile

TEGNA Inc, a media company, provides broadcast advertising and marketing products and services for businesses. The company operates 47 television stations in 39 markets of the United States that produce local programming, such as news, sports, and entertainment. It offers local and national non-political advertising; political advertising; production of programming from third parties; production of advertising materials; and digital marketing services, as well as advertising services on the stations' Websites, tablets, and mobile products.

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