Analyst Sees Ads Up in Fourth Quarter

Nathanson sees Fox in positive territory, Viacom down
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As media companies get ready to report earnings, analyst Michael Nathanson, of MoffettNathanson Research has updated his estimates about the crucial issue of advertising revenue.

After several quarters that were lukewarm at best, Nathanson sees the big media companies putting up a solid 4.3% gain in the quarter, up from an earlier estimate of 3.2% The growth rate would be the highest since the fourth quarter of 2013.

“Advertising gains are being driven by stronger demand for scatter advertising after two years of weak upfront buying,” he notes.

Nathanson sees the broadcast networks posting a 3.4% gain, led by CBS, with a 5.6% increase. He notes that for the first time in years, Fox is showing an increase, up 3%.

Cable networks are expected to show even bigger gains, at 4.9%.

The biggest gainers are AMC Networks and Disney, posting double-digit increases. Viacom is the only major programmer in the minus column, forecast to be down 5.5%.

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