Media Stocks See Uptick In 2019, But Many Down Y-O-Y

Nearly three weeks into the new year, media stocks -- as well as the market overall -- have posted consistently rising share prices after mid-single-digit percentage declines in 2018.

The current hikes are largely due to easing concerns over possible China trade issues.

The Dow Jones U.S. Media Index is up 4.5% to 854.86. Dow Jones U.S. Broadcasting & Entertainment Index is also 4.5% higher to 1271.70. Year-over-year, the U.S. Media Index is down 5.2%, while the U.S. Broadcasting & Entertainment Index is off 5.4%

Big digital media players have benefited the most.

Netflix, perhaps the best media company performer overall, has gained 27% this year to $339.10 and is 54% higher year-over-year. Twitter is up 15.8% to $33.27 and 38.4% higher over a one-year period.

Facebook has gained 14.5% this year to $150.04 -- although still down 16.6% year-over-year. Social media competitor Snap is in the same boat, although a bit further behind. It is up 12% over the first three weeks of 2019 to $6.18, but still down 56% year-over-year.

More of a stable media player, Google (Alphabet) has added 6.1% this year to $1098.26, down just 2.3% year-over-year.

Traditional big media companies are on an uptick, with Discovery Inc. up 12% to $27.71 this year and Comcast 6.3% higher to $36.21. Charter is up 2.3% to $291.40, although down 20% for the year-earlier period.

Walt Disney has inched up 1.3% to $111.04 — with its year-over-year price flat. Fox is 1.3% higher to $48.74 — and up 34.7% year-over-year, largely thanks to its massive deal to sell half the company to Disney.

Local TV stations groups are also up. Sinclair Broadcast Group has risen 15.57% to $30.44 -- although still down over 20% year-over-year. Nexstar Media Group is 6.1% higher to $83.45, and up 3.2% year-over-year.

Tribune Media, which has a proposed deal to be bought by Nexstar, is 1% higher this year to $45.85 year-over-year,  while Tribune is up 5.5%.

CBS and Viacom -- two companies that continue to see news about their possible re-merging -- have also seen recent increases. Viacom has added 17% to $30.08 -- down 11.4% over the previous one-year period. CBS is up 12.6% to $49.24, but off 18% for the year-over-year period.

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