What's Sending These Media Stocks Higher?

Viacom, Inc. (VIAB), Liberty Media Corp (LMCB), and Tribune Media Co (TRCO) are all making notable moves today

Feb 29, 2016 at 3:37 PM
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It's been a push-and-pull session on Wall Street today, with most major exchanges last seen in the red -- erasing their midday gains. However, not all stocks are lower, with media names Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB), Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCB), and Tribune Media Co (NYSE:TRCO) all enjoying healthy leads at last check.

VIAB, for instance, is up 1.6% at $36.81 -- as traders react to a judge's decision to proceed with a lawsuit against the firm's former Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone -- and the stock's options pits are hopping. Calls are crossing at 14 times the average intraday pace, and it looks like one speculator is eyeing a move up to the $50 mark by summer. VIAB's June 45 and 50 calls have seen the most action, and, according to Trade-Alert, it looks as if one speculator is initiating a call ratio spread.

While today's positive price action extends Viacom, Inc.'s recent bounce off its Feb. 11 five-year low of $30.11, it still has yet to fill in its post-earnings bear gap from earlier this month. Specifically, VIAB closed at $41.85 on Feb. 8.

Shares of LMCB hit an annual high of $43.59 earlier -- and were halted shortly after the opening bell -- but were last seen up 6.2% at $36.42. In fact, volume on Liberty Media Corp is at its heaviest since early February on news the company has settled its fraud lawsuit with Vivendi.

Finally, TRCO has popped 8.6% to $35.77, after the company announced it is exploring strategic options after swinging to a $381 million loss in the fourth quarter. Still, the shares remain 40.5% lower year-over-year.

Analysts, meanwhile, have kept the faith. Among the six brokerages covering Tribune Media Co, four maintain a "buy" or better rating, with not a single "sell" to be found.

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