The hottest names this week were IHRT (414 bps better than the S&P), OUT (362 bps), LAMR (209 bps), CCO (207 bps), and WWE (162 bps).
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Now that the NXST-TRCO deal has finally closed, we’re looking forward to the uncertainty/overhang on this stock finally being removed. Two surprises in today’s announcement: 1) The higher synergy guide of $185MM vs. the initial $160MM - as we felt TRCO had already done everything it could to squeeze every efficiency. 2) NXST’s new ‘19/‘20 PF FCF guide of $1.02B was even higher than our $986MM est. (by ~3%) even with a $20MM “disruption” from the T dispute. NXST management is hosting a call at 10AM tomorrow. Dial in: 334-777-6978. We reiterate our Outperform and raise our June 202E price target to $157 from $146.
Happy Friday the 13th. Although as one of my best buds on FB said, “I’d take Friday the 13th over any Monday.” So true.
Here’s what we have been hearing this week….
Hope you had a great summer. Just wanted to pass along some of the tidbits from our convos in what felt like the longest short week ever.
Recall that roughly 120 of NXST’s television stations in 97 markets were off of all of AT&T‘s services from July 2nd until the new agreement was signed on August 29th. As this contract is not retroactive, we are lowering both our retrans and advertising estimates specifically for this blackout period. This should not be a surprise, nor should it be a concern. What would have been a concern is if these stations were still off come October – with the MLB playoffs, the NFL season and the new primetime season in full effect.
In lieu of our What’s Hot What’s Not, we thought it might be helpful to just run through some of what you might have missed the last few weeks as we assume many of you were taking some much-needed vacations....
The hottest names this week were CMLS (534 bps better than the S&P), WWE (434 bps), GTN (395 bps), ETM (311 bps), and CHTR (237 bps).
In lieu of our typical What's Hot/What's Not, we are providing a recap of earnings as well as a link to each note.
NXST sold off today with the rest of our problem children – down -3% vs. the S&P 500, which ended the day flat. The unfortunate part is that there really were no hiccups for this one. In fact, retrans came in AHEAD, which has been a rare occurrence this earning season. And the FCF guides were reiterated for both standalone and PF. Based on our conversations, we attribute the sell-off to investor nerves re. the general ecosystem combined with concerns over the T dispute and auto.
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