Time Warner (TWX) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Time Warner have declined and underperformed the industry in the past three months, after its takeover by AT&T hit a roadblock. The DOJ raised antitrust concerns over the merger, which was likely to conclude by the end of this year. However, keeping aside the issue we believe Time Warner’s foray into new markets and digital efforts, and investments in video content and technology bode well. The company witnessed robust subscription revenue growth at HBO and Turner during third-quarter 2017. Warner Bros. benefited from the success of It, Annabelle: Creation and others. However, management expects HBO’s programming cost to increase at a higher rate in the final quarter due to the timing of original programming and availability of acquired content. Further, operating income at Warner Bros. is also likely to fall in the quarter. Decline in overall advertising spending and currency headwinds may also impact the performance.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Deutsche Bank reiterated a buy rating and issued a $99.00 price objective on shares of Time Warner in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Rosenblatt Securities upgraded shares of Time Warner from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $103.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 13th. Pivotal Research upgraded shares of Time Warner from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $102.00 to $103.00 in a research note on Monday, November 13th. upgraded shares of Time Warner from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $102.00 to $103.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating on shares of Time Warner in a research note on Thursday, January 4th. Twenty-one research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company. Time Warner currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $105.13.

Time Warner (TWX) traded down $0.38 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $92.28. 4,620,700 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,661,083. The stock has a market capitalization of $71,850.00, a PE ratio of 17.54, a P/E/G ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 0.95. Time Warner has a fifty-two week low of $85.88 and a fifty-two week high of $103.90. The company has a current ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80.

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The media conglomerate reported $1.82 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.59 by $0.23. The firm had revenue of $7.60 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.40 billion. Time Warner had a net margin of 13.59% and a return on equity of 18.57%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.83 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Time Warner will post 6.2 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a $0.4025 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $1.61 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.74%. Time Warner’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 30.61%.

In other news, insider Olaf Olafsson sold 23,450 shares of Time Warner stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.03, for a total value of $2,111,203.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Jeffrey L. Bewkes sold 329,478 shares of Time Warner stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.65, for a total transaction of $29,867,180.70. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 855,925 shares in the company, valued at approximately $77,589,601.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.16% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Time Warner by 2.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 49,843,065 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $5,004,741,000 after purchasing an additional 1,116,818 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Time Warner by 4.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 44,524,027 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $4,470,656,000 after purchasing an additional 1,696,681 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Time Warner by 0.4% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 12,344,260 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock worth $1,239,484,000 after buying an additional 51,596 shares in the last quarter. Farallon Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Time Warner by 37.3% in the second quarter. Farallon Capital Management LLC now owns 6,980,000 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock worth $700,862,000 after buying an additional 1,895,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Independent Franchise Partners LLP lifted its stake in shares of Time Warner by 2.8% in the third quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP now owns 6,765,645 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock worth $693,140,000 after buying an additional 186,323 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.83% of the company’s stock.

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About Time Warner

Time Warner Inc is a media and entertainment company. The Company operates through three segments: Turner, which consists of cable networks and digital media properties; Home Box Office, which consists of premium pay television and over the top (OTT) services and premium pay, basic tier television and OTT services internationally, and Warner Bros., which consists of television, feature film, home video, and videogame production and distribution.

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