E. W. Scripps (SSP) Rating Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of E. W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Saturday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “The E.W. Scripps Company serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, print and digital media brands. It also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses including online multi-source video news provider Newsy. Scripps also produces television programming, runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and serves as the long-time steward of one of the nation’s longest-running and most successful educational programs, Scripps National Spelling Bee. Scripps is focused on the stories of tomorrow. Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners. Scripps also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses, including multi-platform satire and humor brand Cracked, podcast industry leader Midroll Media and over-the-top video news service Newsy. “

A number of other research analysts have also commented on the company. Benchmark reissued a buy rating and set a $26.00 price objective (up previously from $22.00) on shares of E. W. Scripps in a report on Monday, March 4th. Noble Financial reissued a buy rating and set a $25.00 price objective on shares of E. W. Scripps in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $21.75.

Shares of NYSE SSP opened at $16.52 on Friday. E. W. Scripps has a 52 week low of $12.16 and a 52 week high of $23.41.

E. W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 10th. The company reported ($0.08) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.05) by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $292.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $288.81 million. The business’s revenue was up 14.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted ($0.07) earnings per share.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 25th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 14th will be issued a dividend of $0.05 per share. This represents a $0.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, June 13th.

In other E. W. Scripps news, major shareholder Mary Peirce bought 8,099 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 27th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $19.96 per share, for a total transaction of $161,656.04. Following the purchase, the insider now directly owns 54,274 shares in the company, valued at $1,083,309.04. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CFO Lisa A. Knutson sold 4,406 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $21.41, for a total value of $94,332.46. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 39,794 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $851,989.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 16,806 shares of company stock worth $345,847. 4.16% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SSP. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in E. W. Scripps by 50.0% during the 3rd quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 32,433 shares of the company’s stock valued at $535,000 after purchasing an additional 10,808 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in E. W. Scripps during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $52,000. Arizona State Retirement System boosted its stake in E. W. Scripps by 4.2% during the 4th quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 86,804 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,365,000 after purchasing an additional 3,503 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund bought a new stake in E. W. Scripps during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $337,000. Finally, 361 Capital LLC bought a new stake in E. W. Scripps during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $2,476,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.70% of the company’s stock.

E. W. Scripps Company Profile

The E.W. Scripps Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a media enterprise through a portfolio of local and national media brands. Its Local Media segment operates broadcast television stations, which produce news, information, and entertainment content, as well as its related digital operations.

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