MSG Networks (MSGN) Shares Up 1.4% on Earnings Beat

MSG Networks Inc (NYSE:MSGN) shares shot up 1.4% during trading on Friday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock traded as high as $26.04 and last traded at $25.85. 549,791 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 7% from the average session volume of 590,027 shares. The stock had previously closed at $25.50.

The company reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.11. MSG Networks had a net margin of 40.97% and a negative return on equity of 18.48%. The firm had revenue of $181.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $179.73 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.57 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

MSG Networks declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Friday, December 8th that authorizes the company to buyback $150.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on MSGN. ValuEngine downgraded shares of MSG Networks from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. Guggenheim increased their target price on shares of MSG Networks from $28.00 to $30.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of MSG Networks from $20.00 to $23.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of MSG Networks from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $27.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday. Finally, Bank of America raised their price objective on shares of MSG Networks from $29.00 to $31.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $25.00.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its holdings in MSG Networks by 38.6% in the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 33,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $755,000 after buying an additional 9,375 shares during the period. Chicago Equity Partners LLC boosted its holdings in MSG Networks by 54.7% in the 3rd quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 119,575 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,535,000 after buying an additional 42,275 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its holdings in MSG Networks by 30.6% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 429,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,645,000 after buying an additional 100,600 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its holdings in MSG Networks by 153.4% in the 2nd quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 37,767 shares of the company’s stock worth $848,000 after buying an additional 22,863 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. bought a new position in MSG Networks in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $3,585,000. 80.35% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -1.35, a current ratio of 2.75 and a quick ratio of 2.75. The firm has a market cap of $1,918.47, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.99, a P/E/G ratio of 256.40 and a beta of 0.77.

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MSG Networks Company Profile

MSG Networks Inc, formerly The Madison Square Garden Company, is engaged in sports production, and content development and distribution. The Company owns and operates two regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network (MSGN) and MSG+, collectively MSG Networks. Its networks are distributed throughout its territory, which includes all of New York State and significant portions of New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as parts of Pennsylvania.

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