Rob Black's Media Stock Report

by: Rob Black

Tribune (TRB) posted its best revenue growth rate year-to-date in May, with total company revenue up 2.1% and good strength coming from newspaper ad revenues up 3.6%.

Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) raised its second-quarter revenue forecast to $81 million to $81.6 million from $80.5 million to $81.5 million, due to better-than-expected political advertising. The television broadcast company also lowered its forecast for operating expenses to $46.7 million to $47 million from $47.7 million to $48 million, due to lower-than-anticipated payroll expenses and reduced TV station expenses.

Electronic Arts (ERTS) agreed to acquire Mythic Entertainment for an undisclosed sum.

Deutsche Bank cut E.W. Scripps (NYSE:SSP) to hold and lowered its price target to $49. The firm is citing weakening ratings at the Food Network, a current tough market for scatter, or last-minute sales, and decelerating cable network ad growth. In light of these difficulties, the broker told clients it thinks the company is likely to lower its revenue growth guidance for fiscal 2006.

Soleil downgraded Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to Hold after news got out that the likely subsidization of a proprietary stand-alone box would significantly erode the economics of the NFLX model.

Susquehanna upgraded Electronic Arts (ERTS), Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI), THQ (THQI), Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO) to Positive from Neutral. Firm has argued the path of the next-gen console transition is riddled with potholes, and the sooner everyone got wise to the downside risks, the sooner the publishers' stocks would bottom. They now believe expectations for the sector and stocks have reached more sober levels. Firm believes the risk-reward is now favorable on the long side.