Getting out while the getting is good?

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The way for a television company to impress Wall Street appears to be to put itself up for sale. Through the first half of 2007, the top performing TV stocks were Ion, Nexstar and LIN, none of which expect to be around as public companies by the end of this year.


A dozen of the stocks tracked daily by TVBR are up double digits or better year-to-date. Ion Media Networks, in fact, is up a whopping 188%. Citadel Capital has already cashed out most former shareholders and an extended tender to sweep of the remainder will end in a few days. Nexstar battled back from penny stock territory and then jumped dramatically when it hung out the "for sale" sign, giving its stock price a gain of over 182% for the first half of 2007. LIN Television is also on the auction block, with its stock up 89% for the six-month period.

Of companies that plan to continue operating under their current ownership, Sinclair was the winner, up over 35% as investors applauded its deals for retransmission consent payments. Young Broadcasting, which remains in penny stock territory, was up just shy of 31% YTD. Entravision rose nearly 27% as the biggest player remaining in the fast-growing Hispanic media sector after Univision was taken private.

 

1st half 2007 television stock performance

Television 12/29/06 6/29/07
2007
2007
Company Close Close
Net Chg
Pct Chg
Ion Media 0.50 1.44 0.94 188.00%
Nexstar 4.65 13.14 8.49 182.58%
LIN Television 9.95 18.81 8.86 89.05%
Sinclair 10.50 14.22 3.72 35.43%
Young 2.82 3.69 0.87 30.85%
Entravision 8.22 10.43 2.21 26.89%
Gray (common) 7.33 9.27 1.94 26.47%
Fisher 44.21 50.79 6.58 14.88%
Gray, Cl. A 8.22 9.35 1.13 13.75%
Google 460.48 522.70 62.22 13.51%
Belo 18.37 20.59 2.22 12.08%
Emmis 8.24 9.21 0.97 11.77%
Meredith 56.35 61.60 5.25 9.32%
CBS Cl. B 31.18 33.32 2.14 6.86%
Lincoln National 66.40 70.95 4.55 6.85%
CBS Cl. A 31.22 33.33 2.11 6.76%
Clear Channel 35.54 37.82 2.28 6.42%
SBS 4.11 4.30 0.19 4.62%
Wash. Post 745.60 776.09 30.49 4.09%
Journal 12.61 13.01 0.40 3.17%
News Corp. 22.26 22.94 0.68 3.05%
General Elec. 37.21 38.28 1.07 2.88%
Saga 9.61 9.80 0.19 1.98%
Equity Media* 4.30 4.33 0.03 0.70%
McGraw-Hill 68.02 68.08 0.06 0.09%
ACME 5.02 5.01 -0.01 -0.20%
Disney 34.27 34.14 -0.13 -0.38%
Time Warner 21.78 21.04 -0.74 -3.40%
Tribune 30.78 29.40 -1.38 -4.48%
Hearst-Argyle 25.50 24.10 -1.40 -5.49%
Scripps 49.94 45.69 -4.25 -8.51%
Gannett 60.46 54.95 -5.51 -9.11%
Media General 37.17 33.27 -3.90 -10.49%
SWMX 2.10 0.25 -1.85 -88.10%

*began trading 5/9

(c)2007 Radio Business Report, Inc. All rights reserved


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