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Fisher Communications

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Fisher Communications (FSCI) is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) after making a sustained move into profitability. Strong EPS beats and higher estimates make this stock attractive to aggressive growth investors.

Company Description

Fisher Communications, Inc., an integrated media company, through its subsidiaries, engages in television and radio broadcasting businesses. The company owns and operates network-affiliated television stations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and and California. In addition, Fisher engages in Internet business, radio stations and managed radio stations in Washington and Montana. The company owns and operates 13 full power television stations, 7 low power television stations, and 10 owned and managed radio stations in the Western United States. Its television stations reach 4.2 million households. Fisher Communications, Inc. was founded in 1910 and is based in Seattle, Washington.

FSCI Tops Expectations Two Straight Times

FSCI has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last two quarters. The first beat came in the September 2011 quarter saw when the company posted earnings of $0.17, $0.07 ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.10. The stock then moved higher by 4% after that 70% beat.

FSCI Recently Reported Earnings

On March 1, 2012 the company reported revenue of $46 million roughly $5 million more than the Zacks Consensus Estimate and lower than the $58 million reported in the year ago period. EPS of $0.72 was $0.41 ahead of the estimate or a 132% beat. As a result the stock moved less than 1%.

The stock didn't move much on the huge beat due to what happened in the year ago period. For the December 2010 quarter, the company reported earnings of $0.93, $0.58 ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate for a 165% beat. The stock was up 6% following the earnings report. The beat in the final quarter of 2011 was smaller than the beat in the 2010 in both absolute and percentage terms.

Earnings Estimates Bumped Up

Following the most recent earnings report, analysts bumped up their earnings estimates for 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 EPS moved from $1.91 in February 2012 to the current level of $2.22. That works out to an increase of 16%.


FSCI has some very reasonable valuation metrics. The one that stands out is the 39x trailing earnings multiple that is well above the 17x industry average. Forward earnings are different picture, coming in at 14x its just below the 14.6x industry average. Price to book and price to sales both show the company trading at a discount to the industry average.

The Chart

The chart shows that the stock has recently broke through an upper resistance level. Having tested the $31 level two times in the last 12 months, the stock has recently pushed ahead and is poised to make new 12 month highs. With the 200 day moving average providing support in the high 20's, the timing is good for aggressive stock investors to participate in what looks to be a rally for the stock. FSCI is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Fisher Communications - ticker FSCI>

Brian Bolan is the Aggressive Growth Stock Strategist for He is also the Editor in charge of the Zacks Home Run Investor service

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