Why E. W. Scripps (SSP) Stock Is Soaring Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of E.W. Scripps  (SSP) are surging, up 5.70% to $18.54, as the media company reported first quarter 2014 results as its loss narrowed and results beat expectations.

Consolidated revenues were $204 million, up 2.6% or $5.1 million, primarily due to the increases in retransmission revenue, political advertising and subscription revenue.

The company reported a loss from operations before income taxes of $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2014 compared to a loss of $7.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Net loss attributable to Scripps was $0.6 million, or 1 cent per share, in the 2014 quarter and $2.7 million, or 5 cents per share, in the 2013 quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently forecast a loss of 13 cents a share and revenue of $201.6 million.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates EW SCRIPPS as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate EW SCRIPPS (SSP) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.37, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 3.27, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, SSP's share price has jumped by 27.14%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • SSP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 15.0%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for EW SCRIPPS is currently extremely low, coming in at 13.86%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 3.56% trails that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $7.57 million or 84.32% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: SSP Ratings Report

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