Discovery Communications (DISCA) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

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.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Discovery Communications from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 17th. Imperial Capital reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $37.00 price target (up from $32.00) on shares of Discovery Communications in a report on Monday. Jefferies Financial Group upgraded Discovery Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $20.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, August 21st. ValuEngine upgraded Discovery Communications from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Saturday, June 16th. Finally, Bank of America increased their price target on Discovery Communications from $30.00 to $35.50 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $28.92.

Shares of NASDAQ:DISCA opened at $31.55 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $16.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.34, a P/E/G ratio of 0.53 and a beta of 1.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 1.45 and a quick ratio of 1.45. Discovery Communications has a 12-month low of $15.99 and a 12-month high of $32.65.

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by ($0.18). The company had revenue of $2.85 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.85 billion. Discovery Communications had a positive return on equity of 17.68% and a negative net margin of 8.28%. analysts expect that Discovery Communications will post 2.63 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Kenneth W. Lowe sold 183,621 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.58, for a total value of $4,697,025.18. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 1,331,277 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,054,065.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, General Counsel Savalle Sims sold 1,666 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.21, for a total value of $46,997.86. Following the completion of the sale, the general counsel now owns 208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,867.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 285,912 shares of company stock valued at $7,867,661. 6.73% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Dupont Capital Management Corp boosted its stake in Discovery Communications by 108.8% during the 2nd quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 6,010 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,000 after purchasing an additional 3,132 shares during the last quarter. Greenleaf Trust boosted its stake in Discovery Communications by 167.5% during the 2nd quarter. Greenleaf Trust now owns 7,585 shares of the company’s stock valued at $209,000 after purchasing an additional 4,750 shares during the last quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG acquired a new position in Discovery Communications during the 2nd quarter valued at about $223,000. Bayesian Capital Management LP acquired a new position in Discovery Communications during the 1st quarter valued at about $238,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Discovery Communications during the 2nd quarter valued at about $260,000. Institutional investors own 37.34% of the company’s stock.

Discovery Communications Company Profile

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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