Central European Media Shares Slump on Record Loss: Prague Mover

Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. fell the most in four months as the television broadcaster unexpectedly posted a record loss for last year.

The stock declined 8.7 percent to 95 koruna by close in Prague, its steepest one-day drop since Oct. 31 and the worst performance in the PX index. Turnover was almost four times the daily average over the past three months.

CME, as the Bermuda-registered operator of stations in emerging Europe is known, said its net loss tripled to $546 million as it booked a $522 million non-cash impairment while clients cut spending on advertisements. The median estimate of seven analysts polled by Bloomberg was for a $27 million loss.

“We consider the results negative,” Pavel Ryska, an analyst at J&T Banka AS in Prague, wrote in an e-mail to clients. He has a hold recommendation for CME, with a $6 price estimate for the company’s U.S.-listed shares.

In New York, the stock declined 10 percent to $4.75 by 10:55 a.m. local time, the lowest price this year, valuing the company at $366 million.

The company is facing a drop in ad revenue as the region’s economies struggle to recover from a slowdown. CME plans to cut costs and is in talks with its 49.9 percent shareholder Time Warner Inc. regarding its possible participation in a public or private equity offering, according to today’s statement.

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