Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Discovery is suffering from the loss of domestic subscribers. Escalated debt levels are a headwind for the company's financials. Moreover, integration costs related to Scripps acquisition is proving to be a drag on profitability. Shares of Discovery have outperformed the industry on a year-to-date basis. Nevertheless, Discovery currently holds the “second largest share of TV viewing” after NBC Universal. We are also encouraged by Discovery's joint venture with TEN for automotive media. In addition, growth in advertising and distribution revenues bode well for the company.”

A number of other analysts also recently commented on DISCA. Pivotal Research raised Discovery Communications from a hold rating to a buy rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $24.00 to $28.00 in a research note on Monday, June 4th. MKM Partners raised Discovery Communications from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $28.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, June 5th. BidaskClub raised Discovery Communications from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, June 7th. ValuEngine raised Discovery Communications from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Saturday, June 16th. Finally, Imperial Capital initiated coverage on Discovery Communications in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. They issued an outperform rating and a $32.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Discovery Communications presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $28.92.

Shares of Discovery Communications stock opened at $31.91 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a quick ratio of 1.45 and a current ratio of 1.45. The firm has a market cap of $16.61 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.53 and a beta of 1.49. Discovery Communications has a 1-year low of $15.99 and a 1-year high of $32.65.

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.84 by ($0.18). The business had revenue of $2.85 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.85 billion. Discovery Communications had a negative net margin of 8.28% and a positive return on equity of 17.68%. research analysts forecast that Discovery Communications will post 2.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, General Counsel Savalle Sims sold 1,666 shares of Discovery Communications stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.21, for a total value of $46,997.86. Following the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 208 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,867.68. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director Kenneth W. Lowe sold 183,621 shares of Discovery Communications stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.58, for a total value of $4,697,025.18. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,331,277 shares in the company, valued at $34,054,065.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 285,912 shares of company stock worth $7,867,661 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 6.73% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dupont Capital Management Corp grew its holdings in shares of Discovery Communications by 108.8% during the second quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp now owns 6,010 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,000 after buying an additional 3,132 shares in the last quarter. Greenleaf Trust grew its holdings in shares of Discovery Communications by 167.5% during the second quarter. Greenleaf Trust now owns 7,585 shares of the company’s stock valued at $209,000 after buying an additional 4,750 shares in the last quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG purchased a new position in shares of Discovery Communications during the second quarter valued at $223,000. Bayesian Capital Management LP purchased a new position in shares of Discovery Communications during the first quarter valued at $238,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Discovery Communications during the second quarter valued at $260,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 37.34% of the company’s stock.

Discovery Communications Company Profile

Discovery, Inc operates as a media company worldwide. The company operates through U.S. Networks, International Networks, and Education and Other segments. It owns and operates various television networks under the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, Velocity, Discovery Family Channel, Destination America, American Heroes Channel, Discovery Life, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Eurosport, Discovery Kids, DMAX, and Discovery Home & Health brands, as well as other regional television networks.

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Analyst Recommendations for Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA)

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