Viacom (VIAB) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Saturday, January 20th.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Viacom have underperformed the industry it belongs to in 2017. The company has been struggling with decreased subscribers on the domestic front. Moreover, it expects affiliate revenues in the United States to remain weak, particularly in the first half of fiscal 2018. Higher programming expenses also have the potential to hurt the operating income going forward. The negativity surrounding the stock is evident from the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 being revised downward 3.1% in the last 30 days. Detailed results will be available on Feb 8. Rumors that the company is in merger-related talks with CBS have also  adversely affected Viacom's stock price. However, strong growth on the international front as well as foreign currency movements have been aiding the company's top line. “

VIAB has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on Viacom from $42.00 to $38.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 13th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a market perform rating and issued a $32.00 target price (up previously from $25.00) on shares of Viacom in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $37.00 price objective (down previously from $40.00) on shares of Viacom in a report on Friday, October 6th. Credit Suisse Group set a $38.00 price objective on Viacom and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, Deutsche Bank cut their price objective on Viacom to $25.00 and set a sell rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 23rd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Viacom currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $35.31.

Viacom (NASDAQ VIAB) traded up $0.83 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $33.93. The company had a trading volume of 4,730,949 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,805,282. Viacom has a one year low of $22.13 and a one year high of $46.72. The company has a current ratio of 1.41, a quick ratio of 1.14 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.52. The company has a market cap of $13,226.21, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.79, a PEG ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 1.54.

Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 8th. The company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $3.07 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.14 billion. Viacom had a return on equity of 26.28% and a net margin of 15.49%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.04 EPS. equities research analysts predict that Viacom will post 3.98 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in VIAB. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Viacom in the fourth quarter valued at about $202,000. Lehman Financial Resources Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Viacom in the fourth quarter valued at about $207,000. Capital Guardian Trust Co. lifted its position in shares of Viacom by 2.7% in the second quarter. Capital Guardian Trust Co. now owns 6,460 shares of the company’s stock valued at $217,000 after acquiring an additional 168 shares in the last quarter. Hourglass Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Viacom in the fourth quarter valued at about $220,000. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Viacom in the fourth quarter valued at about $225,000. Institutional investors own 78.69% of the company’s stock.

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About Viacom

Viacom Inc offers global media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, applications, games, consumer products, social media experiences and other entertainment content. As of September 30, 2016, the Company offered its services for audiences in more than 180 countries.

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