Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ:FOXA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Increase in programming costs and fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rate continues to act as a headwind for Twenty-First Century Fox. In the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2016, the company expenses rose 15% primarily due to hiked sports programming costs owing to soccer rights costs at FNG International as well as Major League Baseball and streaming rights costs at the RSNs. The company expects costs at Cable Network to go up in fiscal 2017. Increase in expenses may dent the company’s margins and in turn the bottom line in the coming quarters. On the brighter side, Twenty-First Century Fox’s Cable Network Programming has been driving the company’s performance owing to rising affiliate fees. The company said that the pace of affiliate fees will accelerate in the back half of the fiscal year as 15%–20% of the company’s domestic subscribers will be up for annual renewal in the couple of years.”

Several other research firms have also issued reports on FOXA. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Twenty-First Century Fox in a report on Tuesday, June 7th. Citigroup Inc. cut their price target on shares of Twenty-First Century Fox from $32.00 to $31.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, August 15th. Barclays PLC lowered shares of Twenty-First Century Fox from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their price target for the stock from $33.00 to $29.00 in a report on Monday, August 8th. Deutsche Bank AG cut their price target on shares of Twenty-First Century Fox from $36.00 to $35.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 5th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG lowered their price objective on shares of Twenty-First Century Fox from $38.00 to $33.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Twenty-First Century Fox has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $31.61.

Analyst Recommendations for Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA)

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Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) opened at 23.89 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $24.90 and a 200 day moving average price of $27.61. Twenty-First Century Fox has a 52-week low of $22.66 and a 52-week high of $31.40. The company has a market capitalization of $44.50 billion, a PE ratio of 16.87 and a beta of 1.33.

Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.45 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37 by $0.08. Twenty-First Century Fox had a net margin of 10.08% and a return on equity of 21.63%. The business had revenue of $6.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.68 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.39 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.1% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Twenty-First Century Fox will post $1.92 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 19th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, September 14th will be issued a $0.18 dividend. This is a positive change from Twenty-First Century Fox’s previous dividend of $0.15. The ex-dividend date is Monday, September 12th. Twenty-First Century Fox’s payout ratio is presently 25.35%.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Raymond James Trust N.A. raised its position in Twenty-First Century Fox by 6.2% in the first quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 9,032 shares of the company’s stock valued at $252,000 after buying an additional 524 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC raised its position in Twenty-First Century Fox by 15.7% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 688,853 shares of the company’s stock valued at $19,205,000 after buying an additional 93,329 shares during the last quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. purchased a new position in Twenty-First Century Fox during the first quarter valued at $716,000. Virginia Retirement System purchased a new position in Twenty-First Century Fox during the first quarter valued at $3,080,000. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc raised its position in Twenty-First Century Fox by 14.7% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 10,536 shares of the company’s stock valued at $294,000 after buying an additional 1,354 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 53.31% of the company’s stock.

About Twenty-First Century Fox

Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc is a media and entertainment company. The Company operates through segments: Cable Network Programming, Television, Filmed Entertainment, and Other, Corporate and Eliminations. The Company produces and licenses news, business news, sports, general entertainment, factual entertainment and movie programming for distribution primarily through cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite operators, telecommunications companies and online video distributors in the United States and internationally.

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