In Depth

Media 1Q Earnings: Bernstein's Grim Outlook

Investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein on Wednesday released a new pessimistic report on media company earnings.

“The recent run-up in media stocks suggests investors are looking past the horrid near-term trends to a happier place off in the horizon,” said analyst Michael Nathanson in a report. “However, we think the rally will meet resistance once the market realizes that the 1Q results are below consensus.”

For TVWeek's comprehensive coverage of how the recession is affecting the TV industry, visit the Economic Crisis Navigator page.

The company issued new lower estimates for first-quarter earnings that are below the Wall Street consensus levels.

For Viacom, Bernstein’s new estimate is 1 cent per share below consensus; for Time Warner it is 2 cents below consensus. But for CBS, News Corp. and Disney, Bernstein is between 25% and 75% below consensus.

Bernstein also lowered its fiscal year estimates for all of the media companies it covers except for Time Warner.

It also lowered it target stock prices for Time Warner and CBS.