Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc (NASDAQ:SNI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday, July 25th.

According to Zacks, “Scripps Networks' top line in the second quarter is expected to be driven by strong growth in advertising revenues in its U.S. Networks division. The company's efforts to exapnd its operations are also impressive. The company recently announced plans to acquire Spoon University. We are also impressed by its efforts to reward shareholders. In Feb 2017, the company hiked its quarterly dividend by 20% to $0.30 per share. However, the company's high debt levels bother us. We also remain mindful of other headwinds like mounting programming costs, advertising and marketing expenses. The headwinds are likely to hurt the company's bottom line in the second quarter of 2017. Detailed results should be out on Aug 9. On the conference call, we expect an update on rumors regarding its merger with Discovery or Viacom. Shares of Scripps Networks have underperformed its industry over the past one year. “

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on SNI. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and issued a $76.00 target price on shares of Scripps Networks Interactive in a research note on Friday, April 28th. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised Scripps Networks Interactive to a neutral rating and set a $83.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a hold rating and issued a $76.00 price objective on shares of Scripps Networks Interactive in a report on Monday, May 15th. Wells Fargo & Company assumed coverage on shares of Scripps Networks Interactive in a report on Thursday, July 20th. They issued a market perform rating and a $82.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Moffett Nathanson restated a sell rating on shares of Scripps Networks Interactive in a report on Friday, June 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $83.31.

Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI) traded up 0.11% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $85.67. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,328,895 shares. The stock has a market cap of $11.12 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.68 and a beta of 1.49. Scripps Networks Interactive has a 1-year low of $59.32 and a 1-year high of $88.45. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $79.09 and its 200-day moving average price is $75.04.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Sunday, September 10th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 31st will be given a $0.30 dividend. This represents a $1.20 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.40%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 29th. Scripps Networks Interactive’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 24.79%.

In other news, major shareholder Edward W. Scripps sold 300,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.96, for a total transaction of $20,088,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 232,071 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,539,474.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Jeffrey Sagansky sold 1,159 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $87.83, for a total transaction of $101,794.97. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 9,457 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $830,608.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.50% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC boosted its position in Scripps Networks Interactive by 14.2% in the second quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,552 shares of the company’s stock worth $106,000 after buying an additional 193 shares during the period. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Scripps Networks Interactive by 68.5% in the first quarter. Contravisory Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,586 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 645 shares during the period. Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc purchased a new position in Scripps Networks Interactive during the second quarter worth $126,000. Mascoma Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Scripps Networks Interactive during the second quarter worth $130,000. Finally, James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new position in Scripps Networks Interactive during the first quarter worth $147,000. 70.64% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc is a developer of lifestyle-oriented content, providing primarily home, food, travel and other lifestyle-related programing. The Company’s content is distributed through multiple methods, including television, the Internet, digital platforms and licensing arrangements.

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Analyst Recommendations for Scripps Networks Interactive (NASDAQ:SNI)

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