TEGNA’s Dispatch Deal Gets Negative Wall St. Reaction

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Well before Tuesday’s Opening Bell on Wall Street, TEGNA announced that it has reached a deal with the Wolfe family to purchase the two TV stations it operates under its Dispatch Broadcast Group for more than a half-billion dollars.


Investors soured on the news, selling TGNA shares on substantially high volume.

At the Closing Bell, TEGNA was off 2.5% to $14.92, its lowest closing price since April 9.

Volume was 5.46 million shares; average volume is 2.72 million shares.

TEGNA has a target price of $17, and in mid-April was well on its way to reaching that price.

That said, TEGNA is a relatively stable Wall Street performer and is up year-to-date in a big way. On January 3, TGNA was priced at $11.03.

Still, TEGNA is down 3.4% since its last earnings report. As Zacks Equity Research notes, TEGNA “has a poor Growth Score of F.”

However its Momentum Score is doing a bit better, with a D.

“Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of C on the value side, putting it in the middle 20% for this investment strategy,” it says. “Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren’t focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.”

This led Zacks to offer a somewhat downbeat outlook for TEGNA.

“Estimates have been broadly trending downward for the stock, and the magnitude of this revision indicates a downward shift,” it said. “It’s no surprise Tegna has a Zacks Rank [of ‘Sell’]. We expect a below average return from the stock in the next few months.”

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