Zacks Investment Research Downgrades DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock (DISCA) to Sell

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DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock (NASDAQ:DISCA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

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 underperformed 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.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on DISCA. ValuEngine raised DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Imperial Capital initiated coverage on DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $32.00 price target on the stock. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $30.00 price target on the stock. Barrington Research reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $30.00 price target on shares of DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock in a research note on Friday, August 17th. Finally, Pivotal Research reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 price target on shares of DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.15.

Shares of DISCA stock opened at $28.18 on Wednesday. DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock has a one year low of $15.99 and a one year high of $29.72. The company has a market capitalization of $15.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.58, a P/E/G ratio of 0.67 and a beta of 1.45. The company has a current ratio of 1.45, a quick ratio of 1.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84.

DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock (NASDAQ:DISCA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The company reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by ($0.18). DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock had a negative net margin of 8.28% and a positive return on equity of 17.68%. The company had revenue of $2.85 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.85 billion. sell-side analysts anticipate that DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock will post 2.67 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director John C. Malone bought 1,407,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 13th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $23.44 per share, with a total value of $32,980,080.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 780,335 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,291,052.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 6.73% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new stake in DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock in the 1st quarter valued at $44,747,000. New South Capital Management Inc. raised its position in DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock by 30.4% in the 1st quarter. New South Capital Management Inc. now owns 5,538,086 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,681,000 after buying an additional 1,290,860 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock by 830.0% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,167,604 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,022,000 after buying an additional 1,042,050 shares during the last quarter. Unigestion Holding SA purchased a new stake in DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock in the 2nd quarter valued at $23,579,000. Finally, UBS Group AG raised its position in DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common Stock by 409.5% in the 1st quarter. UBS Group AG now owns 744,791 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,961,000 after buying an additional 598,620 shares during the last quarter. 37.33% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC. Common 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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