Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Discovery Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Discovery Communications have underperformed its industry on a year-to-date basis. The stock has depreciated 21.4%, whereas its industry rallied 10.8% so far this year. In fact, the company has been struggling with declining advertisement revenues for quite some time. Adverse foreign currency movements are also hurting the company. Moreover, high costs are limiting bottom-line growth. The company's decision to buy Scripps Networks is, however, a positive. On materialization, the deal is expected to broaden Discovery's product portfolio, substantially. The multi-billion dollar deal is expected to close early next year. Discovery's efforts to reward its shareholders through dividends and buybacks raise optimism too. In the face of stiff competition and dwindling advertisement revenues, the media sector is witnessing large scale concentration.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company began coverage on shares of Discovery Communications in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. They issued a market perform rating and a $28.00 price target for the company. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $32.00 price objective on shares of Discovery Communications and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, June 12th. Credit Suisse Group reissued an underperform rating and set a $24.00 price objective on shares of Discovery Communications in a research report on Saturday, July 22nd. BidaskClub raised shares of Discovery Communications from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating and issued a $28.00 target price on shares of Discovery Communications in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $27.07.

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ DISCA) traded up 1.11% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $21.77. 1,380,317 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $12.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.55 and a beta of 1.56. The company’s 50-day moving average is $21.81 and its 200 day moving average is $25.44. Discovery Communications has a 12-month low of $20.14 and a 12-month high of $30.25.

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 31st. The company reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.72 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $1.75 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.76 billion. Discovery Communications had a net margin of 16.88% and a return on equity of 22.74%. The business’s revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.71 EPS. Analysts expect that Discovery Communications will post $2.24 EPS for the current year.

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In other Discovery Communications news, insider Paul J. Guagliardo purchased 10,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 18th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $22.71 per share, with a total value of $227,100.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 10,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $227,100. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels purchased 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $23.01 per share, with a total value of $460,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $460,200. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have purchased 55,000 shares of company stock worth $1,243,300 over the last three months. 6.81% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Discovery Communications by 2,394.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,346,002 shares of the company’s stock worth $271,875,000 after acquiring an additional 8,971,338 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Discovery Communications by 32.7% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 4,938,569 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,563,000 after acquiring an additional 1,216,517 shares during the last quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Discovery Communications by 5.2% in the second quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC now owns 18,606,223 shares of the company’s stock valued at $480,599,000 after acquiring an additional 917,632 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Discovery Communications by 5.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 16,661,316 shares of the company’s stock valued at $430,362,000 after acquiring an additional 858,015 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bridgewater Associates LP purchased a new position in Discovery Communications in the second quarter valued at about $14,672,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 45.84% of the company’s stock.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications, Inc (Discovery) is a global media company. The Company provides content across multiple distribution platforms, including pay-television (pay-TV), free-to-air (FTA) and broadcast television, Websites, digital distribution arrangements and content licensing agreements. Its segments include U.S.

Analyst Recommendations for Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA)

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