TEGNA (TGNA) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

TEGNA (NYSE:TGNA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “TEGNA’s first-quarter 2019 top-line growth was primarily driven by an increase in subscription revenues, which were driven by higher rates negotiated in fourth-quarter 2018, impact of rate escalators and stable paying subscriber base. Additionally, TEGNA expects its paying subscriber base to exceed the industry’s base owing to its global presence in key markets. Moreover, the company’s continued acquisitions of local TV stations that comprise the Big Four affiliates is likely to aid political revenues as political spend is expected to increase owing to the 2020 presidential elections. Notably, its shares have significantly outperformed the industry over the past year. However, lack of political, Olympic and Super Bowl revenues in the reported quarter hurt the top line and advertising revenues. Moreover, increasing expenses are expected to hurt profits in the near term.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on TGNA. Noble Financial reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $14.50 price target on shares of TEGNA in a research note on Thursday, February 28th. ValuEngine upgraded TEGNA from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 28th. Barrington Research reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $17.00 price target on shares of TEGNA in a research note on Friday, March 1st. Evercore ISI upgraded TEGNA from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, March 25th. Finally, Benchmark reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of TEGNA in a research note on Friday, May 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $15.38.

Shares of TGNA stock opened at $16.07 on Wednesday. TEGNA has a 1-year low of $10.11 and a 1-year high of $16.57. The stock has a market cap of $3.42 billion, a P/E ratio of 8.78, a P/E/G ratio of 1.21 and a beta of 1.60. 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 (NYSE:TGNA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 9th. The company reported $0.29 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.27 by $0.02. TEGNA had a return on equity of 30.61% and a net margin of 18.91%. The company had revenue of $516.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $512.45 million. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.33 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that TEGNA will post 1.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Neal Shapiro sold 27,613 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $14.72, for a total value of $406,463.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 17,478 shares in the company, valued at $257,276.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.48% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of TEGNA by 171.5% in the first quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 34,163 shares of the company’s stock worth $482,000 after purchasing an additional 21,579 shares during the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of TEGNA in the first quarter worth about $159,000. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd purchased a new position in shares of TEGNA in the first quarter worth about $331,000. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of TEGNA by 31.2% in the first quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 123,566 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,742,000 after purchasing an additional 29,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. raised its stake in shares of TEGNA by 16.2% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 10,315 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after purchasing an additional 1,435 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.10% 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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