Discovery (DISCA) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Discovery have underperformed its industry over in the past year. However, the completion of the Scripps buyout is positive for the company as its product portfolio has widened significantly. Also, this buyout will help Discovery strengthen its foothold internationally.  Going ahead, the transaction is expected to be accretive to the combined entity’s adjusted earnings per share and free cash flow in the first year following closure. 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.  However, loss of domestic subscribers remains a major concern. High costs and escalated debt levels represent further challenges.”

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A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on DISCA. Macquarie upgraded shares of Discovery from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $26.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Bank of America upgraded shares of Discovery from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, December 21st. ValuEngine lowered shares of Discovery from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, December 31st. Moffett Nathanson upgraded shares of Discovery from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 20th. Finally, Pivotal Research lowered shares of Discovery from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $26.00 to $25.00 in a report on Tuesday, January 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $25.05.

Shares of Discovery stock opened at $23.51 on Tuesday. Discovery has a 1 year low of $15.99 and a 1 year high of $30.25. The company has a market cap of $8,936.62, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.50, a P/E/G ratio of 0.97 and a beta of 1.54. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.20, a current ratio of 5.34 and a quick ratio of 5.34.

Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, February 27th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.08. Discovery had a negative net margin of 4.90% and a positive return on equity of 21.68%. The business had revenue of $1.86 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.78 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.56 earnings per share. Discovery’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Discovery will post 2.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, General Counsel Savalle Sims sold 2,571 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.08, for a total value of $61,909.68. Following the sale, the general counsel now directly owns 36,640 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $882,291.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Adria Alpert-Romm sold 16,238 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.61, for a total transaction of $367,141.18. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 33,463 shares in the company, valued at $756,598.43. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 39,482 shares of company stock worth $913,006. Insiders own 6.73% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC boosted its stake in Discovery by 3.9% in the 4th quarter. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC now owns 57,549 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,288,000 after purchasing an additional 2,140 shares in the last quarter. Addenda Capital Inc. boosted its stake in Discovery by 2.2% in the 4th quarter. Addenda Capital Inc. now owns 112,457 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,414,000 after purchasing an additional 2,439 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Discovery by 21.0% in the 4th quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 16,302 shares of the company’s stock worth $365,000 after purchasing an additional 2,824 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank boosted its stake in Discovery by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 567,288 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,696,000 after purchasing an additional 2,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI boosted its stake in Discovery by 13.4% in the 4th quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 25,122 shares of the company’s stock worth $562,000 after purchasing an additional 2,977 shares in the last quarter. 48.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Discovery

Discovery Communications, 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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