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

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of TEGNA (NYSE:TGNA) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a research report report published on Monday, reports. The firm 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.”

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on TGNA. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on shares of Ascendis Pharma A/S in a research report on Monday, March 25th. They set an outperform rating for the company. Benchmark restated a buy rating and set a $18.00 price objective on shares of TEGNA in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Stephens lowered shares of TEGNA from an overweight rating to an equal rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $19.00 to $17.00 in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. Finally, Noble Financial set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Cumulus Media and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, May 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $16.13.

Shares of TGNA opened at $15.60 on Monday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $15.25. The company has a market cap 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 has a quick ratio of 1.61, a current ratio of 1.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.12. TEGNA has a 52-week low of $10.24 and a 52-week high of $16.57.

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

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, July 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 7th were given a dividend of $0.07 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, June 6th. This represents a $0.28 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.79%. TEGNA’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 15.30%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Dubuque Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new position in shares of TEGNA in the first quarter worth about $28,000. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new position in shares of TEGNA in the fourth quarter worth about $52,000. Magnus Financial Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of TEGNA in the fourth quarter worth about $124,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc boosted its holdings in shares of TEGNA by 59.5% in the fourth quarter. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc now owns 12,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 4,700 shares during the period. Finally, Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC acquired a new position in shares of TEGNA in the first quarter worth about $144,000. Institutional investors own 97.31% of the company’s stock.

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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