NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Media General (MEG) were gaining 4.3% to $10.87 Wednesday after the broadcasting company announced a new long-term affiliation agreement with ABC Television Network.

The new agreement "synchronizes Media General's expanded ABC television station portfolio," under a new long-term affiliation agreement that expires in 2021.

The agreement includes renewals for WTNH-TV in Hartford-New Haven, CT; WKRN-TV in Nashville, TN; WOTV-TV in Grand Rapids, MI; WHTM in Harrisburg, PA; WRIC-TV in Richmond, VA; WTEN-TV in Albany, NY; WATE-TV in Knoxville, TN; WBAY-TV in Green Bay, WI; WJBF-TV in Augusta, GA; WLAJ-TV in Lansing, MI; WYTV-TV in Youngstown, OH; and KTKA-TV in Topeka, KS.

"This agreement enables us to continue providing more than six million television households in 12 markets nationwide with high-quality network programming that complements our strong local news and unique local content," Media General President and CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said in a statement.

About 1.1 million shares of Media General were traded by 10:18 a.m. Wednesday, compared to the company's average trading volume of about 1.2 million shares a day.

TheStreet Ratings team rates MEDIA GENERAL INC as a Sell with a ratings score of E+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MEDIA GENERAL INC (MEG) a SELL. This is based on some significant below-par investment measures, which should drive this stock to significantly underperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk and feeble growth in its earnings per share. "

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

  • Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 31.88%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 87.50% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Although its share price is down sharply from a year ago, do not assume that it can now be tagged as cheap and attractive. The reality is that, based on its current price in relation to its earnings, MEG is still more expensive than most of the other companies in its industry.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 75.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $6.79 million to $1.64 million.
  • Currently the debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55 is quite high overall and when compared to the industry average, suggesting that the current management of debt levels should be re-evaluated. Regardless of the company's weak debt-to-equity ratio, MEG has managed to keep a strong quick ratio of 1.86, which demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • MEDIA GENERAL INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, MEDIA GENERAL INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.58 versus -$0.10 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 60.3% in earnings ($0.23 versus $0.58).
  • The gross profit margin for MEDIA GENERAL INC is rather high; currently it is at 58.14%. Regardless of MEG's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MEG's net profit margin of 0.51% is significantly lower than the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: MEG