Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) Downgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Sinclair Broadcast Group is a diversified broadcasting company that owns or provides programming services pursuant to local marketing agreements to more television stations than any other commercial broadcasting group in the United States. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on SBGI. TheStreet upgraded Sinclair Broadcast Group from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Thursday, December 13th. BidaskClub cut Sinclair Broadcast Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, March 21st. Benchmark increased their target price on Sinclair Broadcast Group from $39.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 28th. ValuEngine upgraded Sinclair Broadcast Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 9th. Finally, B. Riley increased their target price on Sinclair Broadcast Group from $35.00 to $38.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, December 18th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $38.56.

Shares of SBGI stock opened at $44.21 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $3.99 billion, a PE ratio of 13.20 and a beta of 1.50. Sinclair Broadcast Group has a 52 week low of $25.13 and a 52 week high of $44.64. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.41, a current ratio of 3.12 and a quick ratio of 3.12.

Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 27th. The company reported $2.10 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.98 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $893.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $878.46 million. Sinclair Broadcast Group had a net margin of 11.17% and a return on equity of 21.77%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 25.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $4.32 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Sinclair Broadcast Group will post 2.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 25th. Investors of record on Monday, March 11th were issued a $0.20 dividend. This represents a $0.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.81%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 8th. Sinclair Broadcast Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 23.88%.

In related news, VP Barry Faber sold 16,882 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.78, for a total value of $587,155.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Robert E. Smith sold 143,002 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $38.58, for a total value of $5,517,017.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 182,893 shares of company stock worth $6,987,659. 29.24% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in Sinclair Broadcast Group by 4.6% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 7,225,931 shares of the company’s stock valued at $204,855,000 after acquiring an additional 320,587 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Sinclair Broadcast Group by 4.6% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,225,931 shares of the company’s stock valued at $204,855,000 after acquiring an additional 320,587 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Sinclair Broadcast Group by 1.6% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,190,505 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,718,000 after acquiring an additional 82,886 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in Sinclair Broadcast Group by 0.9% during the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,181,634 shares of the company’s stock valued at $83,805,000 after acquiring an additional 27,711 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Baupost Group LLC MA lifted its stake in Sinclair Broadcast Group by 16.7% during the 3rd quarter. Baupost Group LLC MA now owns 3,000,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $85,050,000 after acquiring an additional 428,698 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.06% of the company’s stock.

About Sinclair Broadcast Group

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc operates as a television broadcasting company in the United States. It owns or provides various programming, operating, sales, and other non-programming operating services to television stations. The company broadcasts free over-the-air programming, such as network provided programs, locally-produced news, local sporting events, programming from program service arrangements, syndicated entertainment programs, and internally originated programming to television viewing audiences in the communities through its local television stations.

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