This CEO Doubles Down On Its Soft Stock Price


FORT LAUDERDALE — Comscore’s five-year stock trend is far from pretty.

Two years ago, SCOR was suddenly slipping from a $20 price range; it started 2017 in the mid-$33 range. By August 2019, Comscore shares were at $1.86.

Today, they start the week on a strong note, with a 7.4% jump in value on Monday. For CEO Bill Livek believes they’re seriously undervalued.

On Friday, Livek filed a SEC Form 4 indicating that on Wednesday (3/17), he purchased 116,987 shares — spending $422,323.07 on that purchase.

Twenty-four hours later, Livek acquired an additional 83,013 shares at a price of $309,638.49.

This $731.97k stock purchase puts Livek’s total stake in Comscore at 911,149 shares.

And, it is a sign that Livek is confident in the company’s long-term growth strategy, once that came under Livek’s direct oversight in the final weeks of 2019 — a tumultuous year for Comscore.

That August ’19 stock swoon? It was directly tied to the sudden departures, first made known on Sunday, March 31, 2019, of then-Comscore CEO Bryan Wiener and President Sarah Hofstetter.

Their respective exits, which saw each C-Suiter use LinkedIn to share the news, put Dale Fuller, a Comscore Director, into the interim Chief Executive role.

While the performance of SCOR was exceptionally bleak following the exits of Winer and Hofstetter, the share price dip began one month earlier; Comscore stock had already fallen 38% at the time of their very public resignations.

Five months later, Comscore was, to some on Wall Street, a Hindenburg on its final approach to Lakehurst, N.J., ready to experience its ultimate demise. That didn’t happen.

In early November 2019, former Rentrak Vice Chairman and CEO Livek stepped up to steer Comscore away from implosion. Livek joined Comscore in early 2016, serving as Executive Vice Chairman and President under Wiener and, later, Fuller.

By December 2019, SCOR was recovering and nearly approaching the $5 mark. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Hills and valleys were seen across 2020, with shares as low as $1.94 on Nov. 2, 2020. Then, as has been seen with many media industry stocks, SCOR benefited from the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. In February, a rise above $4 was a sign of positive long-term growth.

The last seven weeks, however, have seen Comscore stock dip, and recover. Not willing to let Comscore shares swoon along with other technology issues, Livek stepped up, and snagged the stock.

How much of a bargain Livek gets depends on the Street. And, the long-term outlook is positive from analysts. The problem: the consensus feel SCOR is overvalued.

Thus, Comscore’s lengthy road to recovery could be long. But, the destination, as Livek sees it, is very rewarding.