The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: New York Times, News Corp., Gannett,
Textron and Tyco International
CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2012
CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include The New York Times Company
(NYSE:NYT), News Corporation (Nasdaq:NWSA), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI),
Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) and Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday's Analyst Blog:
Solid Circulation for NY Times
The current economic scenario does not look promising for publishing
companies, who are bearing the brunt of waning print advertising demand, and
The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) is no exception. However, the company
witnessed sturdy circulation growth during the six-month period ending
September 30, riding on the back of digital subscription initiatives.
According to the data released by Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), total
average circulation, including print and digital, registered an increase of
40% to 1,613,865 for Monday to Friday publications and 28% to 2,100,893 for
Sunday editions during the period.
Notably, digital circulation outpaced the print circulation. For weekdays,
average digital circulation rose more than twofold to 896,352, whereas average
print circulation dropped 6.9% to 717,513. Average digital circulation for
Sunday surged 129% to 850,816, while average print circulation fell 1.8% to
The data suggests that print circulation is continuing to lose its grip,
whereas digital circulation is gaining traction, as more and more people are
visiting the company's website through smartphone and iPad applications.
However, the only respite for print editions is the Sunday home delivery
circulation, which saw a marginal increase of 0.6% to 998,080.
Apart from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the flagship newspaper
of News Corporation (Nasdaq:NWSA) also experienced rise in circulation and
holds on to its leading position as per the data available from ABC.
Circulation for daily newspapers rose 9.4% to 2,293,798. However, USA Today,
the iconic brand of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI) saw its circulation declining
3.9% to 1,713,833 but remained at the second position. The New York Times
occupied the third position.
Although, The New York Times Company is blessed with sturdy total circulation,
yet its advertising volume continues to remain under pressure as advertisers
are shying away from making any upfront commitments, in an economy which is
showing an uneven recovery. Total advertising revenue slid 8.9% to $182.6
million in the third quarter of 2012. Print advertising declined 10.9% during
The sluggish advertising compelled The New York Times Company to post a loss
per share of 1 cent that significantly missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
earnings of 8 cents but remained flat compared with the prior-year quarter.
To mitigate this, the company is diversifying its business and adding new
revenue streams. The company is also streamlining its cost structure,
strengthening its balance sheet and restructuring its portfolio. The company
is offloading assets that bear no direct relation with the core operations in
order to refocus on its core newspapers and pay more attention to its online
Currently, we have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. However,
the stock holds a Zacks #4 Rank that translates into a short-term Sell rating,
indicating lower-than-expected third-quarter 2012 results.
Earnings Scorecard: Textron
Diversified U.S. conglomerate, Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) recently delivered
third-quarter 2012 earnings. The Wall Street analysts had more than a week to
ponder over the earnings results and eventually made their estimates revision.
In subsequent paragraphs, we will cover the results of the recent earnings
announcement, estimate revisions by analysts as well as the Zacks Rank and
long-term recommendation on the stock.
Highlights from the Quarter
Textron's third-quarter 2012 earnings per share of 48 cents were up 6.7% from
45 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. The quarterly result however came
below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 52 cents. Higher numbers year over year
for the company were due to strong performance at Bell, continued improvement
at Cessna, complemented by good performance in the Industrial business and
favorable liquidation activity in the finance portfolio. Including
discontinued operations, earnings came in at 51 cents compared with 47 cents a
share earned in the year-ago quarter.
Textron clocked quarterly revenue of $3.0 billion, up 6.6% from $2.8 billion
in the year-ago period. However this came below the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of $3.05 billion. The year-over-year spike in revenue is attributable to
higher performance from all of its manufacturing business segments, barring
Textron Systems. The performance of the Finance division was also better than
the year-ago quarter.
Textron raised its 2012 earnings per share from continuing operations guidance
to a band of $1.95 to $2.05 per share versus an earlier band of $1.80 to $2.00
per share. The company however reaffirmed its manufacturing free cash flow
before pension contribution forecast for 2012 in the range of $700 million to
$750 million. The company anticipates planned pension contributions of about
We have discussed the quarterly results at length here: Textron Misses, Ups
Agreement – Estimate Revisions
Estimates for Textron saw heavy movement over both sides for the fourth
quarter. Over the past month, out of 12 available estimates, 5 estimates were
revised downward while 4 moved north. However, over the past week, no
estimates were revised.
For full-year 2012, estimates manifest a clear negative bias with 7 (out of
13) downward movements versus 2 positive revisions over the past month. The
negative sentiment is owing to the skeptism about the intermediate prospects
of Textron's commercial aerospace businesses. The economic downturn, along
with reduced access to the credit markets, has led to lower spending by
commercial air carriers. A prolonged period of weakness in the business jet
market could lead to cancellations/deferrals of orders in its backlog. Also,
in the near term, the focus on used jets rather than new ones have taken a
toll on Cessna's order backlog, which fell to $1.3 billion at the end of the
first nine months of 2012, down $196 million from the end of the second
quarter of 2012.
Magnitude – Consensus Estimate Trend
Estimate for full year 2012 have witnessed a fall over the past month from
$2.09 to $2.06. However, given the balanced revisions, estimate for the fourth
quarter has remained flat at 59 cents over the past month.
Neutral on Textron
Based in Providence, Rhode Island, Textron Inc. is a global multi-industry
company that manufactures aircraft, automotive engine components and
We believe Textron should do well in its commercial aerospace businesses with
the gradual recovery in the economy. The improving fundamentals in the
commercial aerospace industry should bode well for Textron's Cessna jets and
Bell Helicopter businesses going forward. Cessna's fortunes will improve
mainly through high demand for light cabin business jets. Also, in the near
term, Bell's growth will be guided by a judicious mix of military and
commercial business from the V-22 Osprey and H-1 helicopters. Textron Systems
will also see growth coming from government's focus on UAVs (unmanned aerial
vehicles) and ASVs (armored security vehicles).
Also, Textron's geographically diverse network of aircraft, defense &
intelligence, industrial and finance businesses negates any specific business
risk. The company is known around the world for its most recognizable and
valuable brand names, such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company,
Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO and Greenlee. The company has a strong
presence in diverse areas of business jets and other general aviation
aircraft, helicopter, aircraft engines, golf carts, turf maintenance
equipment, electronic test equipment and blow-molded fuel tanks.
Textron's balance sheet remains stable with a long-term debt-to-capitalization
of 55.9% at the end of the first nine months of 2012 versus the Zacks Industry
Average of 65.7%. The company also ended the first nine months of 2012 with
cash holdings of $1.2 billion, which, along with its receivables liquidation
expected to come through, would be enough to keep the liquidity profile of the
company in good shape. Textron's balance sheet also improved, shedding $496
million of long-term debt in the first nine months, leaving approximately $1.8
billion of long-term debt.
Textron currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term
Hold rating. Considering the fundamentals, we are maintaining our Neutral
recommendation on the stock. This is in line with its peers like Tyco
International Ltd. (NYSE:TYC).
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