Many media companies have suffered tremendous declines in their stock value due to coronavirus concerns. This could be tied to a radio or TV broadcaster’s exposure to live events, sports or festivals.
With Wednesday’s Closing Bell on Wall Street, there was renewed carnage for some of broadcast media’s best-known and biggest companies.
The damage, however, for Nexstar Media Group on the Nasdaq Global Select exchange is particularly disturbing.
As the clock hit 4pm Eastern, NXST found itself at $54.93, down 15.2% from Tuesday.
At one point (1:30pm Eastern), trading brought Nexstar shares as low as $50.26.
Volume was more than double its average, with 1.28 million shares traded.
The closing price marks a spectacular fall in value for Nexstar shares.
One month ago, NXST closed at $128. By the end of February, a slight dip to just above $107 was seen, with a $109.69 finish seen as recently as March 4.
The last two weeks, however, saw COVID-19 worries escalate by the day. Small post-slide rallies seen March 10 and March 13 were only followed by greater declines.
That brings the company led by Perry Sook to now.
How bad is the two-week dip? It erased all gains seen since mid-October 2016.
For Sook, the steep decline puts a dark cloud over comments made during Nexstar’s Q4 earnings call by the Nexstar found suggesting the COVID-19 outbreak would be, perhaps, a positive for broadcast TV companies such as his.
On the February 26 call, one Wall Street analyst inquired about any angst over coronavirus pandemic concerns. Sook’s response?
“It could potentially benefit our business because people would be quarantined at home,” he said, suggesting that — even if live events, which drive broadcast TV ratings and revenue, were canceled — consumers would watch Nexstar stations more because they’d be unable to partake in their normal routines, including patronizing many of the stations’ advertising clients.
Minutes after the statement, Nexstar shares fell — to $111.02.
That’s $56.09 higher than where Nexstar shares finished on yet another dark day for Wall Street.