Nine leads the pack in better quarter for the ASX’s media and marketing companies

Nine has continued its run as the best performing media and marketing stock on the ASX in the first quarter of 2018.

Nine boss Hugh Marks has presided over a growing share price

The share price of Nine Entertainment Co (ASX:NEC) has risen by 48.4% in the first quarter, from $1.53 per share to $2.27 – taking the company to a market capitalisation of $2bn.

The successful quarter builds on the company’s performance in the 2017 calendar year, where the share price grew by 45.2%.

Source: Google Finance

The worst performer was media monitoring company Isentia (ASX: ISD), which is currently hunting for a new CEO after boss John Croll signalled his intent to step down later this year. The company has yet to recover investors’ confidence after the failure of its King Content acquisition.

Isentia’s share price declined by 40.9% in the first quarter, from $1.42 to 0.84. Its market capitalisation is now $167m, only about a sixth of its peak two years ago.


Source: Google Finance

Another stock which saw a big fall in the first quarter was online research and digital advertising company Pure Profile (ASX: PPL). The company’s share price has fallen from $0.17 to 0.11, a fall of 35.3% amidst board room battles and recriminations over its purchase of Cohort. The company’s market capitalisation is now just $13.2m.

Several of the big mainstream media companies have seen falls in their value during the first quarter.

Fairfax Media (ASX:FXJ) – publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age – was down by 12.8%.

Meanwhile, Domain (ASX:DHG), which span out of Fairfax late last year but is without a CEO since the shock departure of Antony Catalano, fell by 6.3%.

Domain’s value has fallen since Catalano left

The other listed company Fairfax still holds a stake in, Macquarie Media (ASX:MRN) – owner of radio stations 2GB and 3AW – rose by 2.3%.

Southern Cross Austereo – owner of regional TV assets, along with the Triple M and the Hit radio networks – fell by 12.6%.

And Seven West Media – owner of Seven, The West Australian and Pacific Magazines – was down 11.5%.

But the other listed regional TV player, Prime Media (ASX: PRT), saw a slight recovery in the first quarter, up 7.1%.

The out of home players showed little volatility. Ooh Media (ASX:OOH) was up by 1.8% during the quarter. APN Outdoor (ASX:APO), now with James Warburton at the helm, was down 6.1%. And QMS (ASX:QMS) ended that quarter with the same share price it began with of $1.

And the ASX’s marketing groups trod water in the first quarter.

Enero Group (ASX:EGG) – owner of BMF, Frank PR and Naked Communications – was up 1%. WPP AUNZ  – owner of the likes of Ogilvy and the Group M media agencies – was up 3.2%.

Meanwhile, the newly listed Trimantium Growth Ops (ASX:TGO) which includes AJF Partnership, is up 8.2% since listing.

And Wellcome Group (ASX:WLL) rose 0.5%.

News Corp (ASX:NWS) , publisher of The Australian, Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph and Melbourne’s Herald Sun, grew by 2.4%.

And Here There & Everywhere (ASX: HT1), the former APN News & Media, which owns Australian Radio Network and Adshel, slipped by 1%.

The results signify a better start to 2018 for the companies than 2017, where most media and marketing companies saw their capitalisations fall.


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