Media Stocks See Gains In Anticipation Of AT&T-Time Warner Decision

Seemingly on the verge of a favorable court decision concerning a merger between AT&T and Time Warner, many media stocks -- including TV station groups -- witnessed strong Monday gains.

Virtually all major independent TV station groups were up. Sinclair Broadcast Group grew 3.2% to $30.70; Nexstar Media Group added 3% to 72.80; Tegna improved a big 6% to $11.45, and Gray Television added 4% to $11.85.

Tribune Media was virtually unchanged, slipping 0.1% to $36.25.

The move comes as a court will decide whether to let AT&T’s deal for Time Warner proceed; a decision is expected Tuesday. To many analysts, this would signal that big media consolidation would be allowed to proceed -- including the potential Sinclair $3.9 billion deal for Tribune Media.

In addition, AMC Networks added 2.8% to $61.90. Cable TV network group owner Discovery grew 3.8% to $23.89.



All this occurred as other stock market indices went virtually unchanged -- Dow Jones Industrials up 0.02%; S&P 500, adding 0.11%; and Nasdaq 0.19% higher.

Other media moves are likely to occur in the wake of a positive result for the AT&T-Time Warner. If the deal goes ahead, Comcast Corp will announce a bid for about half of 21st Century Fox, according to a CNBC report.

Walt Disney announced a $52 billion deal with Fox in late December for those same businesses, which included Fox's movie studio, National Geographic Channel, FX networks, Fox’s regional sports channels, and stakes in Hulu, Star India and Sky PLC.

In October 2016, AT&T announced a $85.4 billion deal for Time Warner. At Monday’s close, AT&T stock was 1% higher to $34.18, and Time Warner was up 1% to $96.17.

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