Investors must have liked what President Trump said Tuesday night in first joint address to Congress: The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 303.31 to a record-high 21,115.55 on Wednesday, as the Nasdaq composite gained 78.59, to 5,904.03. For media stocks, there were clear positives … and negatives. Among the big gainers was iHeartMedia, which surged 18 cents to $1.40, and Nexstar Media Group, which rose $4.20 to $73.15 on about double its average trading volume. Also up big: Tribune Media (+$2.86, to $37.38), the subject of takeover rumors with Sinclair Broadcast Group (+$1.90, to $41.80) as a possible suitor.
Meredith Corp. jumped ahead $3 a share, to $65.70, while CBS Corp. leapt $1.34, to $67.26.
Why the good vibes for TV stocks? It could be the FCC, and Ajit Pai. With de-regulatory action coming soon and company heads noting in their conference calls that strategic M&As are a definite possibility, transactions could soon rise to their expected boiling point – something brokers that have spoken with RBR + TVBR initially expected would occur in May.
Wednesday’s trading session was not so bright for Cumulus Media. The struggling No. 2 owner of radio stations by number of AMs and FMs lost a penny to close at 66 cents a share. Emmis Communications also dipped, falling 11 cents to $2.66 on word that it unloaded it four remaining magazines for a price of just $6.5 million.
The RBR Radio Index rose 9.603, or 1.69%, to 578.296.
The TVBR Television Index rose 31.478, or 3.06%, to 1058.824.
iHeart, up 14.7%
Tribune, up 8.3%
Gray, up 6.2%
SBS, down 7.7%
Emmis, down 4.0%
Cumulus, down 1.6%