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2 Media Stocks to Watch From a Challenging Industry

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The Zacks Media Conglomerates industry has been benefiting from the change in consumer preference for over-the-top (OTT) content. Companies like Liberty Media (FWONK - Free Report) and Reservoir Media (RSVR - Free Report) have been investing heavily to develop original and fresh content, including music and shows, to attract and retain subscribers. The availability of a variety of alternative packages, including skinny bundles, which are delivered at lower costs than traditional offerings to attract consumers, is aiding the industry players’ prospects. However, media companies have been affected by the decline in ratings for broadcast television, as well as reduced demand for home entertainment sales of theatrical content. Sluggish spending by advertisers due to raging inflation and a higher interest rate has been another concern.

Industry Description

The Zacks Media Conglomerates industry primarily comprises companies that develop and distribute shows, movies, music, educational content and digital learning services. The companies offer entertainment, travel and consumer products. The media companies are riding on shifting consumer preference for OTT content, be it subscription-based video on demand or advertising supported. Advertising is a significant revenue source for media industry participants. Metaverse is a budding market for media companies. Moreover, subscription prices have room for growth due to expanding subscriber base. However, media industry participants are suffering from the industry-wide decline in ratings for broadcast television, reduced demand for home entertainment sales of theatrical content and increasing cord-cutting.

3 Trends Shaping the Future of the Media Industry

Original Content Driving Growth: Media companies’ ability to generate ad revenues outside traditional TV platforms, such as websites and any digitally-consumed platform, provides increased scope for target-based advertising. The growing consumer preference for subscription services instead of linear pay-TV and rental or outright purchase has compelled the industry players to alter their business models. Media companies are innovating in terms of original content to attract subscribers.

High-Speed Internet Demand Acting as the Key Catalyst: The growing demand for high-speed Internet, including broadband, has aided the media industry participants. Improving Internet speed is fueling the demand for high-quality videos and the trend of binge-watching. Further, a strengthening broadband ecosystem in international markets, along with the proliferation of smart TVs, is anticipated to drive growth.

Cord-Cutting and Matured PayTV Industry Hurting Prospects: The media television industry is witnessing the rapid evolution of distribution platforms, and embracing new players and advanced technologies. The declining profitability of residential video services due to rising programming costs and retransmission fees has made survival difficult for traditional companies. Additionally, the heightened need for on-demand content has led to the mushrooming of streaming service providers, making it tricky for traditional media television companies to maintain their viewer bases.

Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Dim Prospects

The Zacks Media Conglomerates industry is housed within the broader Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #200, which places it in the bottom 19% of more than 250 Zacks industries.

The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all member stocks, indicates dull near-term prospects. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.

Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.

Industry Underperforms Sector, S&P 500

The Zacks Media Conglomerates industry has underperformed the broader Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector and the S&P 500 composite over the past year.

The industry has declined 22.4% over the above-mentioned period compared with the broader sector’s dip of 22%. The S&P 500 has declined 11.7% during the same time frame.

One-Year Price Performance

Industry's Current Valuation

On the basis of the trailing 12-month EV/EBITDA, a commonly used multiple for valuing media companies, we see that the industry is currently trading at 5.92X compared with the S&P 500’s 12.09X and the sector’s 8.22X.

Over the past five years, the industry has traded as high as 16.26X, as low as 5.23X and at the median of 7.82X, as the charts below show.




2 Media Stocks to Watch

Liberty: The Englewood, CO-based holding company has interests in the media and entertainment industries, including motorsports, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Formula 1. Liberty’s other consolidated subsidiaries are Sirius XM Holdings and Live Nation Entertainment.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have gained 16.2% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Mark for FWONK’s ongoing-year earnings has been unchanged at 87 cents per share in 30 days’ time. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Price and Consensus: FWONK


Reservoir: This New York-based leading independent music company currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Reservoir benefits from its strong content portfolio. Its publishing catalog includes historic compositions written and performed by greats like Joni Mitchell, The Isley Brothers, Billy Strayhorn, Hoagy Carmichael and John Denver.

Reservoir shares have gained 33.1% in the past year. The consensus mark for RSVR's fiscal 2023 earnings has been unchanged at 19 cents per share in the past 30 days.

Price and Consensus: RSVR


In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

Liberty Media Corporation (FWONK) - free report >>

Reservoir Media, Inc. (RSVR) - free report >>

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