Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: SBGI) and Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) are both mid-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, institutional ownership, valuation, dividends, earnings and profitability.

Risk & Volatility

Sinclair Broadcast Group has a beta of 1.92, indicating that its stock price is 92% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Tribune Media has a beta of 1.51, indicating that its stock price is 51% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Sinclair Broadcast Group pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.0%. Tribune Media pays an annual dividend of $1.00 per share and has a dividend yield of 2.4%. Sinclair Broadcast Group pays out 27.1% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Tribune Media pays out -75.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Tribune Media is clearly the better dividend stock, given its higher yield and lower payout ratio.

Profitability

This table compares Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Sinclair Broadcast Group 9.06% 23.27% 3.58%
Tribune Media -6.12% 4.11% 1.50%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Sinclair Broadcast Group $2.74 billion 1.33 $245.30 million $2.66 13.40
Tribune Media $1.95 billion 1.87 $14.24 million ($1.33) -31.38

Sinclair Broadcast Group has higher revenue and earnings than Tribune Media. Tribune Media is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Sinclair Broadcast Group, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

84.8% of Sinclair Broadcast Group shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 90.8% of Tribune Media shares are held by institutional investors. 28.2% of Sinclair Broadcast Group shares are held by company insiders. Comparatively, 0.6% of Tribune Media shares are held by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Sinclair Broadcast Group 0 0 9 0 3.00
Tribune Media 1 4 1 0 2.00

Sinclair Broadcast Group presently has a consensus target price of $47.00, suggesting a potential upside of 31.84%. Tribune Media has a consensus target price of $43.88, suggesting a potential upside of 5.11%. Given Sinclair Broadcast Group’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, equities analysts clearly believe Sinclair Broadcast Group is more favorable than Tribune Media.

Summary

Sinclair Broadcast Group beats Tribune Media on 11 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Company Profile

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is a television broadcasting company. The Company focuses on providing content on its local television stations and digital platforms. The Company’s segments are broadcast, other and corporate. The Broadcast segment consists of its broadcast television stations. The content distributed through its broadcast platform consists of programming provided by third-party networks and syndicators, local news, it owns networks, and other original programming produced by it. It also owns digital and Internet media products that are complementary to its portfolio of television station related digital properties. It focuses on offering marketing solutions to advertisers. Its other business consists of original networks and content, digital and Internet solutions, technical services and other non-media investments.

Tribune Media Company Profile

Tribune Media Company, through its subsidiaries, operates as a media and entertainment company in the United States. It offers news, entertainment, and sports programming through Tribune Broadcasting local television stations, including FOX television affiliates, CW Network, LLC television affiliates, CBS television affiliates, ABC television affiliates, NBC television affiliates, and independent television stations; and television series and movies on WGN America, a national general entertainment cable network. The company also operates Antenna TV and THIS TV, a digital multicast networks; Tribune Studios, a development and production studio; Screener, an entertainment Website; and WGN 720 AM, a radio station in Chicago. It owns and operates 42 local television stations. The company was formerly known as Tribune Company and changed its name to Tribune Media Company in July 2014. Tribune Media Company was founded in 1847 and is based in Chicago, Illinois.

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