Has the economy shown signs of recovery? Yes. Is it storming back into a state of robust health? Not so much – and that is expected to be a factor as a wide variety of broadcast companies meet with analysts to discuss their latest results between Tuesday 5/3/11 and Friday 5/6/11.
Here is how the week shakes out:
* Sirius XM
* News Corporation (it’ll report in Australia the following day)
* Clear Channel Media Holding/Clear Channel Outdoor
Wells Fargo’s Marci Ryvicker says that they are taking a cautious approach to handicapping the proceedings, but that said, the two that look like they are in the best shape are CBS and Clear Channel Outdoor.
The general economic climate is responsible for the caution. Ryvicker noted, “Given the commentary from most traditional media cos. that have reported thus far, we are cautious this earnings season – which should not be unexpected given the uncertainty resulting from high gas prices, the natural disasters in Japan (particularly as it relates to auto) and the tepid economic landscape overseas.” She added that broadcast stock performance since 4/4/11 shows that investor expectations are already on the low side.
Looking ahead, Ryvicker noted, “While most pure-play broadcasters are likely to be cautious regarding Q2 guidance/pacings, we don’t get the sense (either from past history or recent commentary) that CBS will sound the same. While CBS tends to be a victim of ‘high expectations’ during earnings, we actually think that the stock is set up rather well going into this print…”
She noted that outdoor is facing the same sluggish economy, but it’s doing well on the national front, and Clear Channel Outdoor is in good position to benefit from that and outperform other outdoor companies.
RBR-TVBR observation: The luck of the scheduling draw conspired to pack a lot of electronic communication flavor into just eight conference calls – big TV, big radio, medium TV, medium radio, Spanish radio/TV, big cable and satellite audio. Maybe it will be impossible to draw any conclusions by the end of the week, but it won’t be for lack of raw evidence.