Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA) recently received a number of ratings updates from brokerages and research firms:

  • 11/20/2018 – Discovery Communications had its price target raised by analysts at Citigroup Inc from $34.00 to $37.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 11/19/2018 – Discovery Communications was downgraded by analysts at Cannonball Research to a “hold” rating. They now have a $33.00 price target on the stock.
  • 11/19/2018 – Discovery Communications was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $35.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Discovery is suffering from higher restructuring costs related to Scripps acquisition, which is proving to be a drag on profitability. Nevertheless, the company is benefiting from strong domestic advertising growth driven by improved ratings, healthy overall pricing, nice growth in TV Everywhere apps and strong execution by the sales and network teams. Improving operating efficiency is a key catalyst. Discovery currently holds the “second largest share of TV viewing” after NBC Universal. The Scripps buyout has expanded Discovery’s product portfolio and marketing reach significantly. Also, the buyout strengthened its international footprint. Increasing availability across linear, digital over-the-top platforms like Hulu, AT&T Watch and Sling is a major growth driver. Shares of Discovery have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis.”
  • 11/16/2018 – Discovery Communications was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Discovery is suffering from higher restructuring costs related to Scripps acquisition, which is proving to be a drag on profitability. Nevertheless, the company is benefiting from strong domestic advertising growth driven by improved ratings, healthy overall pricing, nice growth in TV Everywhere apps and strong execution by the sales and network teams. Improving operating efficiency is a key catalyst. Discovery currently holds the “second largest share of TV viewing” after NBC Universal. The Scripps buyout has expanded Discovery’s product portfolio and marketing reach significantly. Also, the buyout strengthened its international footprint. Increasing availability across linear, digital over-the-top platforms like Hulu, AT&T Watch and Sling is a major growth driver. Shares of Discovery have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis.”
  • 11/14/2018 – Discovery Communications had its price target raised by analysts at MKM Partners from $40.00 to $42.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 11/13/2018 – Discovery Communications was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $37.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Discovery is suffering from higher restructuring costs related to Scripps acquisition, which is proving to be a drag on profitability. Nevertheless, the company is benefiting from strong domestic advertising growth driven by improved ratings, healthy overall pricing, nice growth in TV Everywhere apps and strong execution by the sales and network teams. Improving operating efficiency is a key catalyst. Discovery currently holds the “second largest share of TV viewing” after NBC Universal. The Scripps buyout has expanded Discovery’s product portfolio and marketing reach significantly. Also, the buyout strengthened its international footprint. Increasing availability across linear, digital over-the-top platforms like Hulu, AT&T Watch and Sling is a major growth driver. Shares of Discovery have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis.”
  • 11/9/2018 – Discovery Communications had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Pivotal Research. They now have a $27.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $26.00. They wrote, “We continue to rate Discovery stock Sell. Discovery Communications reported tepid underlying growth trends for 3Q18 with company-wide pro forma revenues up +2%. Adjusted pro forma OIBDA was up +18%, aided by ongoing operating improvements, significant restructuring activities – whose costs have totaled $652mm year-to-date, not including $79mm of transaction and integration costs, well ahead of the company’s prior estimate of $600mm for the year – as well as the absence of Bundesliga costs because of the deconsolidation of the company’s German assets. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.52.””
  • 11/5/2018 – Discovery Communications had its price target raised by analysts at MKM Partners to $40.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 10/26/2018 – Discovery Communications was given a new $27.00 price target on by analysts at Barclays PLC. They now have an “equal weight” rating on the stock.
  • 10/10/2018 – Discovery Communications had its price target raised by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. to $38.00. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. They noted that the move was a valuation call.
  • 10/10/2018 – Discovery Communications was upgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating. They now have a $40.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $30.00.
  • 9/24/2018 – Discovery Communications had its “outperform” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Imperial Capital. They now have a $37.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $32.00.
  • 9/24/2018 – Discovery Communications was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Discovery is suffering from the loss of domestic subscribers. Escalated debt levels are a headwind for the company's financials. Moreover, integration costs related to Scripps acquisition is proving to be a drag on profitability. Shares of Discovery have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. Nevertheless, Discovery currently holds the “second largest share of TV viewing” after NBC Universal. We are also encouraged by Discovery's joint venture with TEN for automotive media. In addition, growth in advertising and distribution revenues bode well for the company.”

NASDAQ DISCA traded down $0.70 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $29.77. The company had a trading volume of 1,616,921 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,540,096. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.61, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 1.01. Discovery Communications Inc. has a 1-year low of $16.98 and a 1-year high of $34.89. The company has a market capitalization of $16.46 billion, a PE ratio of 13.29, a P/E/G ratio of 0.44 and a beta of 1.24.

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 8th. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.62 by ($0.10). The business had revenue of $2.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.60 billion. Discovery Communications had a positive return on equity of 17.05% and a negative net margin of 8.52%. Discovery Communications’s quarterly revenue was up 57.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.43 EPS. On average, research analysts expect that Discovery Communications Inc. will post 2.67 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, Director Kenneth W. Lowe sold 183,621 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.58, for a total transaction of $4,697,025.18. Following the sale, the director now owns 1,331,277 shares in the company, valued at $34,054,065.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.47, for a total transaction of $1,473,500.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 10,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $294,700. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 464,652 shares of company stock valued at $13,203,210. Corporate insiders own 6.73% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. NuWave Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Discovery Communications by 138,044.4% during the 3rd quarter. NuWave Investment Management LLC now owns 12,433 shares of the company’s stock valued at $398,000 after acquiring an additional 12,424 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of Discovery Communications by 26.4% during the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 359,647 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,890,000 after acquiring an additional 75,219 shares in the last quarter. grace capital acquired a new position in shares of Discovery Communications during the 2nd quarter valued at $3,442,000. CapWealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Discovery Communications during the 2nd quarter valued at $6,423,000. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group lifted its holdings in shares of Discovery Communications by 68.7% during the 2nd quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,056,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,080,000 after acquiring an additional 430,300 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 35.94% of the company’s stock.

Discovery, Inc operates as a media company worldwide. The company operates through U.S. Networks, International Networks, and Education and Other segments. It owns and operates various television networks under the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, Velocity, Discovery Family Channel, Destination America, American Heroes Channel, Discovery Life, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Eurosport, Discovery Kids, DMAX, and Discovery Home & Health brands, as well as other regional television networks.

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