Time Warner (TWX) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday.

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.”

TWX has been the subject of a number of other reports. Cowen reiterated a hold rating and issued a $107.50 price target on shares of Time Warner in a research report on Thursday, October 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a market perform rating and issued a $98.00 price target (up from $84.00) on shares of Time Warner in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. Credit Suisse Group lowered shares of Time Warner from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and set a $107.50 price target for the company. in a research report on Monday, September 18th. B. Riley reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $101.00 price target (down from $105.00) on shares of Time Warner in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank reiterated a buy rating and issued a $99.00 price target on shares of Time Warner in a research report on Friday, November 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Time Warner has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $105.13.

Shares of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) opened at $92.05 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.26 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. The stock has a market cap of $71,670.00, a P/E ratio of 17.50, a P/E/G ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 0.95. Time Warner has a 12-month low of $85.88 and a 12-month high of $103.90.

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The media conglomerate reported $1.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.59 by $0.23. The company had revenue of $7.60 billion during 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 firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.83 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Time Warner will post 6.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a dividend of $0.4025 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $1.61 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.75%. Time Warner’s dividend payout ratio is 30.61%.

In related news, CEO Jeffrey L. Bewkes sold 329,478 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on 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 transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 855,925 shares in the company, valued at $77,589,601.25. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Olaf Olafsson sold 23,450 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.03, for a total transaction of $2,111,203.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.16% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in TWX. Beach Investment Management LLC. purchased a new stake in Time Warner during the second quarter valued at $3,859,000. IndexIQ Advisors LLC raised its stake in Time Warner by 53.1% during the second quarter. IndexIQ Advisors LLC now owns 190,987 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $19,177,000 after purchasing an additional 66,261 shares in the last quarter. Keybank National Association OH raised its stake in Time Warner by 8.3% during the second quarter. Keybank National Association OH now owns 177,744 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $17,847,000 after purchasing an additional 13,657 shares in the last quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC raised its stake in Time Warner by 4.0% during the second quarter. Patriot Financial Group Insurance Agency LLC now owns 1,153 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Homrich & Berg raised its stake in Time Warner by 6.8% during the second quarter. Homrich & Berg now owns 39,602 shares of the media conglomerate’s stock valued at $3,976,000 after purchasing an additional 2,515 shares in the last quarter. 77.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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