Head-To-Head Contrast: E. W. Scripps (SSP) and Gray Television (GTN)

E. W. Scripps (NYSE: SSP) and Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better business? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, dividends, institutional ownership, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings and profitability.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

77.7% of E. W. Scripps shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 88.0% of Gray Television shares are held by institutional investors. 4.2% of E. W. Scripps shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 10.0% of Gray Television shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares E. W. Scripps and Gray Television’s gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
E. W. Scripps $864.83 million 1.30 -$13.10 million ($0.39) -35.41
Gray Television $882.73 million 1.62 $261.95 million $1.17 13.80

Gray Television has higher revenue and earnings than E. W. Scripps. E. W. Scripps is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Gray Television, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Dividends

E. W. Scripps pays an annual dividend of $0.20 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.4%. Gray Television does not pay a dividend. E. W. Scripps pays out -51.3% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and price targets for E. W. Scripps and Gray Television, as provided by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
E. W. Scripps 0 2 2 0 2.50
Gray Television 0 0 8 0 3.00

E. W. Scripps presently has a consensus price target of $19.50, indicating a potential upside of 41.20%. Gray Television has a consensus price target of $22.17, indicating a potential upside of 37.25%. Given E. W. Scripps’ higher probable upside, equities research analysts plainly believe E. W. Scripps is more favorable than Gray Television.

Profitability

This table compares E. W. Scripps and Gray Television’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
E. W. Scripps -3.93% 0.89% 0.43%
Gray Television 29.97% 11.06% 2.79%

Volatility and Risk

E. W. Scripps has a beta of 2.03, suggesting that its share price is 103% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Gray Television has a beta of 2.5, suggesting that its share price is 150% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Summary

Gray Television beats E. W. Scripps on 13 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

About E. W. Scripps

The E.W. Scripps Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a media enterprise through a portfolio of local and national media brands. Its Local Media segment operates broadcast television stations, which produce news, information, and entertainment content, as well as its related digital operations. This segment also runs network programming, syndicated programming, and original programming. The company's National Media segment offers content services through apps on Internet-connected devices, such as computers, gaming consoles, set-top boxes, smartphones, smart TVs, and tablets. It operates Katz, which broadcasts content through over-the-air on local broadcasters' digital sub-channels, and cable and satellite; and Midroll that creates original podcast, a digital audio recording of themed series, as well as Stitcher, a mobile application where consumers can stream the latest news, sports, talk, and entertainment on demand. This segment also operates Newsy, a national news network, which provides politics, entertainment, science, and technology news. The company also operates Cracked, a multi-platform humor and satire brand, which informs and entertains audiences with a Website, social media, and podcast; and Scripps National Spelling Bee, an investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C. The company was formerly known as Scripps Howard, Inc. The E.W. Scripps Company was founded in 1878 and is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

About Gray Television

Gray Television, Inc., a television broadcast company, owns and operates television stations and digital assets in the United States. As of February 23, 2018, the company owned and operated television stations in 57 television markets broadcasting approximately 200 program streams, including approximately 100 channels affiliated with the CBS Network, the NBC Network, the ABC Network, and the FOX Network. It also broadcasts secondary digital channels affiliated to ABC, CBS, and FOX, as well as channels affiliated with various other networks and program services, including CW Plus Network, MY Network, the MeTV Network, This TV Network, Antenna TV, Telemundo, Cozi, Heroes and Icons, and MOVIES! Network; and local news/weather channels in various markets. The company was formerly known as Gray Communications Systems, Inc. and changed its name to Gray Television, Inc. in August 2002. Gray Television, Inc. was founded in 1897 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

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