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TGNA

Tegna

$17.95

0.93 (5.46%)

08:06
01/16/20
01/16
08:06
01/16/20
08:06

Standard General says Tegna press release contains 'false assertions'

A letter to the shareholders of Tegna from Standard General's Soohyung Kim stated, "I am writing you to correct several false assertions in TEGNA's press release dated January 15, 2020. While Standard General will not be responding publicly to every baseless allegation TEGNA may make, several of TEGNA's statements require refutation. TEGNA asserts that Standard General has a track record of actions favoring its interests over those of other shareholders. This is nonsense. Like other active investment firms, Standard General often takes substantial equity positions, and our principals have served on the boards of a number of public companies in which we have invested. As a matter of firm policy, our principals take no fees or other compensation for their board service. Standard General profits from stock price appreciation, in the same way as any other shareholder. We believe in complete alignment with shareholders' outcomes. Our objective is to help drive value creation through stock price improvement. If we succeed, all shareholders benefit. In the case of TEGNA, we have demonstrated our commitment by making an investment that is approximately 20 times that of the current board and management combined. TEGNA has also sought to mislead our fellow shareholders by raising spurious claims regarding conflicts of interest with Standard General's other investments. First, Standard General's investment in a woman- and minority-owned broadcasting start-up with approximately $10 million of annual cash flow hardly represents a conflict with TEGNA's business. Second, in our discussions with TEGNA, we committed not to make any new investment in TV stations without first offering the opportunity to TEGNA. In short, there is no conflict. In addition to engaging in personal attacks on me and Standard General, TEGNA's response purports to tout the accomplishments of TEGNA's current board and management. In fact, TEGNA's track record is one of long-term performance failure. In the case of nine of TEGNA's eleven directors, TEGNA's performance has lagged its peer group from the date that director joined the board up to the time Standard General disclosed its investment in TEGNA. In stark contrast, the market has reacted positively since Standard General's investment in TEGNA -- and continues to react positively today. Nor should our fellow TEGNA shareholders derive comfort from TEGNA's acquisition spree (which TEGNA mischaracterizes in its press release as a "disciplined approach to M&A"). TEGNA's recently posted investor deck declines to use industry standard metrics to describe the acquisition prices paid by TEGNA -- instead adjusting acquisition multiples for estimates of fully realized synergies and tax benefits (benefits that it has not quantified and that may never be realized) -- and obfuscating the fact that TEGNA has been paying top dollar for these assets. As a substantial shareholder, we hope these investments will pay off. But TEGNA's board and management should not hide behind non-standard metrics to justify their M&A spree. TEGNA's press release also claims that the current board and management are "[open] to all paths to create value for all of TEGNA's shareholders." However, representatives of Standard General sat, with other investors, in an investor meeting with TEGNA management last August, in which TEGNA's CFO denied that TEGNA had received a business combination proposal from Apollo Management. The next day, TEGNA hastily retracted this falsehood, admitting that it had received two separate proposals from Apollo in 2019, but declining to provide any further details. As a result, we must question whether shareholders can rely on TEGNA's assurances that the current board and management are open-minded. We believe Standard General's involvement is critical to ensure that TEGNA is on the right path to maximize shareholder value. While we are disappointed in TEGNA's shrill response, it has no impact on our plan to vigorously pursue representation on TEGNA's board and to drive value creation for all TEGNA shareholders."

TGNA Tegna
$17.95

0.93 (5.46%)

09/24/19
WELS
09/24/19
INITIATION
Target $17
WELS
Market Perform
Tegna initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall last night started Tegna with a Market Perform rating and $17 price target. While the company's acquisitions have been accretive, its estimates are "messier than peers," says the analyst.
10/28/19
JPMS
10/28/19
INITIATION
Target $18
JPMS
Neutral
Tegna reinstated with a Neutral at JPMorgan
JPMorgan analyst Alexia Quadrani reinstated coverage of Tegna with a Neutral rating and $18 price target following a period of restriction. The analyst sees a favorable risk/reward over the near term but has secular concerns on sector fundamentals, including the sustainability of higher retrans pricing, cord cutting, and the health of the local ad market in a possible recession. She recommends waiting for a better entry point to be more constructive on the shares.
12/11/19
GUGG
12/11/19
NO CHANGE
GUGG
Buy
Guggenheim says Nexstar, Gray best positioned for 'record' political cycle
Guggenheim analyst Curry Baker said "all signs point to another record political cycle in 2020" after several advertising planning agencies issued their updated 2020 forecasts over the past week. Total spending on political advertising is forecast to top $10B, which would be up roughly 15% from the $8.7B spent during the 2018 midterm cycle, Baker noted. After analyzing station group market overlap within competitive presidential states, U.S. Senate races, and gubernatorial races, Baker said he believes Nexstar (NXST) and Gray Television (GTN) are best positioned for the upcoming presidential cycle, naming them in that order as his top two picks among local TV broadcasters heading into 2020. He has Buy ratings on both stocks, as well as on Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI) and Tegna (TGNA). Baker has Neutral ratings on Meredith (MDP) and E.W. Scripps (SSP).
01/10/20
BNCH
01/10/20
NO CHANGE
Target $21
BNCH
Buy
Tegna price target raised to $21 from $18 at Benchmark
Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos noted that Tegna pre-released a "tight window" for Q4 results while offering an initial look at its 2020 outlook as part of its recent bond offering. Q4 EBITDA guidance looks to be about $18M ahead of consensus, though he estimates "a more modest" $5M upside in the company's 2020 guidance, Kurnos tells investors, adding that both political and gross retrans rates appear to be coming in well ahead of expectations. He raised his price target on Tegna shares to $21 from $18 and keeps a Buy rating on the shares.

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