Wall Street Optimistic About Ad Outlook

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Hollywood Reporter

Wall Street folks have become more optimistic about the advertising outlook for media companies ahead of the hot phase of third-quarter earnings season, and stocks have continued to run up as a result.

If quarterly results and CEO comments on conference calls confirm a strengthening of ad demand, analysts could further lift financial projections for key sector firms.

But they warn that only select industry stocks may have more left in the tank at this stage, arguing that many are already trading at prices that include assumptions for most of the ad upside opportunity.

“Since early September, ad-sensitive media stocks have rallied reflecting the positive momentum in national and local TV advertising,” Sanford Bernstein analyst Michael Nathanson said in a report Monday, touting Disney and Viacom as having the biggest upside. “While the momentum is real and could drive earnings per share revisions, we think the market is already pricing in the bulk of the upside.” More…