Head-To-Head Review: Nexstar Media Group (NXST) & Tribune Media (TRCO)

Nexstar Media Group (NASDAQ: NXST) and Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) are both mid-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better business? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their dividends, valuation, institutional ownership, earnings, profitability, risk and analyst recommendations.

Dividends

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Nexstar Media Group pays an annual dividend of $1.50 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.3%. Tribune Media pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.5%. Nexstar Media Group pays out 37.7% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Tribune Media pays out 70.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Nexstar Media Group and Tribune Media, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Nexstar Media Group 0 0 9 0 3.00
Tribune Media 1 4 1 0 2.00

Nexstar Media Group presently has a consensus price target of $88.38, suggesting a potential upside of 36.76%. Tribune Media has a consensus price target of $43.88, suggesting a potential upside of 9.47%. Given Nexstar Media Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Nexstar Media Group is more favorable than Tribune Media.

Profitability

This table compares Nexstar Media Group and Tribune Media’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Nexstar Media Group 19.53% 14.44% 2.51%
Tribune Media 10.50% 4.13% 1.52%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Nexstar Media Group and Tribune Media’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Nexstar Media Group $2.43 billion 1.23 $474.99 million $3.98 16.24
Tribune Media $1.85 billion 1.90 $194.11 million $1.41 28.43

Nexstar Media Group has higher revenue and earnings than Tribune Media. Nexstar Media Group is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Tribune Media, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

87.9% of Tribune Media shares are held by institutional investors. 8.4% of Nexstar Media Group shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 0.6% of Tribune Media shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, hedge funds and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Risk & Volatility

Nexstar Media Group has a beta of 1.77, indicating that its stock price is 77% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Tribune Media has a beta of 1.32, indicating that its stock price is 32% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Nexstar Media Group beats Tribune Media on 12 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Nexstar Media Group Company Profile

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. operates as a television broadcasting and digital media company in the United States. It focuses on the acquisition, development, and operation of television stations and interactive community Websites in medium-sized markets. The company offers free over-the-air programming to television viewing audiences. It also provides sales, programming, and other services through various local service agreements to 36 power television stations owned and/or operated by independent third parties. As of December 31, 2017, the company owned, operated, programmed, or provided sales and other services to 170 television stations in 100 markets in the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The company's stations reach approximately 43.6 million viewers. The company was formerly known as Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. and changed its name to Nexstar Media Group, Inc. in January 2017. Nexstar Media Group, Inc. was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas.

Tribune Media Company Profile

Tribune Media Company, through its subsidiaries, operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States. It offers news, entertainment, and sports programming through Tribune Broadcasting local television stations, including FOX television affiliates, CW Network, LLC television affiliates, CBS television affiliates, ABC television affiliates, MY television affiliates, NBC television affiliates, and independent television stations; and television series and movies on WGN America, a national general entertainment cable network. The company also operates Antenna TV and THIS TV digital multicast networks; a production studio; Screener, an entertainment Website; and WGN 720 AM, a radio station in Chicago. It owns and operates 42 local television stations. The company was formerly known as Tribune Company and changed its name to Tribune Media Company in July 2014. Tribune Media Company was founded in 1847 and is based in Chicago, Illinois.

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