Media General (NYSE: MEG) and Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) are both consumer discretionary companies, but which is the superior investment? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their risk, earnings, valuation, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, profitability and dividends.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current recommendations and price targets for Media General and Tribune Media, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Media General 0 0 0 0 N/A
Tribune Media 1 3 1 0 2.00

Tribune Media has a consensus target price of $44.50, indicating a potential upside of 10.23%. Given Tribune Media’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Tribune Media is more favorable than Media General.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Media General and Tribune Media’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Media General N/A N/A N/A ($0.47) -39.38
Tribune Media $1.91 billion 1.84 $370.02 million $0.49 82.39

Tribune Media has higher revenue and earnings than Media General. Media General is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Tribune Media, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Media General has a beta of 1.64, indicating that its share price is 64% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Tribune Media has a beta of 1.53, indicating that its share price is 53% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Profitability

This table compares Media General and Tribune Media’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Media General -4.25% 6.92% 2.28%
Tribune Media 2.49% 4.38% 1.63%

Institutional & Insider Ownership

90.8% of Media General shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 97.2% of Tribune Media shares are held by institutional investors. 16.5% of Media General shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.6% of Tribune Media shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Dividends

Tribune Media pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Media General does not pay a dividend. Tribune Media pays out 204.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future.

Summary

Tribune Media beats Media General on 7 of the 12 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Media General

Media General, Inc. is a television broadcasting and digital media company. The Company provides news, information and entertainment in markets across the United States. The Company operates or services 71 network-affiliated broadcast television stations in 48 markets along with the digital media business. The Company’s network affiliations include twelve CBS stations, nine NBC stations, seven ABC stations, one FOX station, one CW station and one MyNetworkTV station. The Company offers consumers and advertisers with entertainment and information, content and distribution on every screen. Its portfolio of broadcast, digital and mobile products informs and engages 23% of United States Television (TV) households and 43% of the United States Internet audience. The Company has the diverse digital media business with a portfolio that includes LIN Digital, LIN Mobile, HYFN, Dedicated Media, Federated Media and BiteSizeTV.

About Tribune Media

Tribune Media Company, through its subsidiaries, operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States. It offers news, entertainment, and sports programming through Tribune Broadcasting local television stations, including FOX television affiliates, CW Network, LLC television affiliates, CBS television affiliates, ABC television affiliates, NBC television affiliates, and independent television stations; and television series and movies on WGN America, a national general entertainment cable network. The company also operates Antenna TV and THIS TV, a digital multicast networks; Tribune Studios, a development and production studio; Screener, an entertainment Website; and WGN 720 AM, a radio station in Chicago. It owns and operates 42 local television stations. The company was formerly known as Tribune Company and changed its name to Tribune Media Company in July 2014. Tribune Media Company was founded in 1847 and is based in Chicago, Illinois.

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