Discovery Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Discovery Communications have underperformed its industry on a year-to-date basis. In fact, the company has been struggling with declining advertisement revenues for quite some time. Adverse foreign currency movements are also hurting the company. Discovery is also a highly leveraged company. Moreover, high costs are expected to hurt bottom-line in the third quarter. Detailed results will be available on Nov 2. 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. Discovery's new joint venture with TEN for automotive media is also encouraging. The move marks Discovery's entry into direct-to-consumer offerings. In the face of stiff competition and dwindling advertisement revenues, the media sector is witnessing large scale concentration. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on DISCA. MKM Partners reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $26.00 target price (down previously from $30.00) on shares of Discovery Communications in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Barrington Research reaffirmed a “market perform” rating on shares of Discovery Communications in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Pivotal Research raised shares of Discovery Communications from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $28.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Royal Bank Of Canada decreased their target price on shares of Discovery Communications from $32.00 to $29.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “underperform” rating on shares of Discovery Communications in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Discovery Communications currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.57.

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) traded down 0.21% on Thursday, reaching $19.24. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,120,992 shares. The firm has a market cap of $10.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.21 and a beta of 1.56. Discovery Communications has a 12 month low of $19.01 and a 12 month high of $30.25. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $21.37 and its 200-day moving average is $25.07.

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) last issued its earnings results on Monday, July 31st. The company reported $0.68 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $1.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.76 billion. Discovery Communications had a net margin of 16.88% and a return on equity of 22.74%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.71 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Discovery Communications will post $2.22 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider Paul J. Guagliardo bought 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 18th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $22.71 per share, for a total transaction of $227,100.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now directly owns 10,000 shares in the company, valued at $227,100. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels bought 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 15th. The stock was bought at an average price of $21.70 per share, for a total transaction of $325,500.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief financial officer now owns 35,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $759,500. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have purchased 55,000 shares of company stock worth $1,243,300. 6.81% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its stake in Discovery Communications by 437.1% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,969 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,000 after acquiring an additional 3,230 shares during the last quarter. Ballentine Partners LLC purchased a new position in Discovery Communications in the second quarter valued at about $133,000. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new position in Discovery Communications in the first quarter valued at about $182,000. Horizon Investment Services LLC purchased a new position in Discovery Communications in the first quarter valued at about $202,000. Finally, OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. boosted its stake in Discovery Communications by 112.1% in the first quarter. OLD Mutual Customised Solutions Proprietary Ltd. now owns 7,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $204,000 after acquiring an additional 3,700 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors 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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA)

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