Tegna (TGNA) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Tegna (NYSE:TGNA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past six months, the share price of TEGNA increased 1.7% but failed to beat the industry’s gain of 8.3%. Moreover, TEGNA’s operation in a competitive broadcast TV industry remains a concern. The U.S. broadcast TV industry has long been grappling with declining advertising revenues and global economic volatility. On the flip side, TEGNA seems to be soaring high, post the completion of its two strategic business moves. On one side, TEGNA plans to use the $250 million of gross proceeds from the sale of its web portal CareerBuilder, to clear off existing debt. While the spin-off of its auto-sales website, Cars.com into two publicly traded companies: TEGNA and Cars.com, should increase TEGNA's growth opportunities and appropriate market valuations. Moreover, TEGNA’s media business is faring well, evident from the revenue growth.”

TGNA has been the topic of a number of other reports. ValuEngine raised Tegna from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Sunday, December 31st. FBR & Co reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $15.00 target price on shares of Tegna in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. Wells Fargo & Co raised Tegna from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $19.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. BidaskClub raised Tegna from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, Noble Financial reiterated a buy rating on shares of Tegna in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $18.50.

Tegna (NYSE TGNA) traded down $0.06 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $15.04. The stock had a trading volume of 1,562,597 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,444,674. Tegna has a one year low of $11.59 and a one year high of $17.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $3,236.70, a P/E ratio of 9.46, a P/E/G ratio of 7.75 and a beta of 1.72. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.30, a current ratio of 1.37 and a quick ratio of 1.37.

Tegna (NYSE:TGNA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The company reported $0.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.22 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $464.26 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $463.23 million. Tegna had a return on equity of 20.50% and a net margin of 11.10%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.65 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Tegna will post 1.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Friday, December 8th were given a dividend of $0.07 per share. This represents a $0.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.86%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 7th. Tegna’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 20.90%.

Tegna announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Tuesday, September 19th that authorizes the company to repurchase $300.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 11.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, SVP Clifton A. Mcclelland III sold 7,740 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $13.69, for a total value of $105,960.60. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 32,335 shares in the company, valued at $442,666.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Todd A. Mayman sold 36,830 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $12.63, for a total value of $465,162.90. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 19,420 shares in the company, valued at $245,274.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.81% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its position in Tegna by 1,970.3% during the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 100,080 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,443,000 after acquiring an additional 95,246 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its holdings in Tegna by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 12,599 shares of the company’s stock worth $182,000 after buying an additional 499 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Tegna by 172.4% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 912,892 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,155,000 after buying an additional 577,746 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Tegna by 2.6% in the 2nd quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 42,256 shares of the company’s stock worth $609,000 after buying an additional 1,067 shares during the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its holdings in Tegna by 85.0% in the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 900,146 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,971,000 after buying an additional 413,458 shares during the last quarter. 99.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Tegna

Tegna Inc has a portfolio of media and digital businesses that provide content. The Company’s segments include TEGNA Media (Media) and TEGNA Digital (Digital). As of December 31, 2016, its media business included 46 television stations operating in 38 markets and offered television programming and digital content.

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