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Focus Stock of the Week


THE E. W. SCRIPPS COMPANY (SSP)

This week’s Focus Stock of the Week is The E.W. Scripps Co. (SSP: $17.77), which carries S&P Capital IQ’s highest investment recommendation of 5-STARS, or Strong Buy. We see some strategic rationale for a pending stock-for-stock merger agreement with Journal Communications Inc. (JRN 9 NR), where the parties would combine their broadcast TV operations, and then spin off and merge their newspapers, thereby creating two independent public companies. Thereupon, the new E.W. Scripps, comprising the merged broadcast businesses - with a continued voting control by the Scripps family - would own 34 TV stations and 35 radio stations in 27 markets, and generate about $800 million in projected revenues....
Industry Profile



Publishing & Printing

Our fundamental outlook for the publishing & printing sub-industry is neutral. Investor skepticism appeared to have recently moderated, as several key players demonstrated more stable operating results. In our opinion, the realization that the industry has stemmed the pace of operating declines coupled with increased visibility into a digital-enabled business model, allowed the depressed industry valuations to rebound modestly in the past year. With high-profile consolidation and diversification also supporting valuation, we think valuation multiples for the group have approached near-full levels, making further expansion seem challenging....
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