Why Nexstar Broadcasting Shares Dropped and Then Recovered

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Nexstar Broadcasting Group (NASDAQ: NXST  ) were down as much as 11% today after reporting earnings, though they bounced back to finish the day essentially even.

So what: The TV-and-web broadcaster posted earnings per share of $0.20, well below the analyst consensus at $0.29. Revenues, however, were up 42% to $126.2 million, easily beating estimates at $121.9 million. Excluding the impact of political ads a year ago, revenue increased 48.4% because of recent acquisitions, and its e-media segment grew particularly fast, up 65%.

Now what: Net income fell from $0.29 a year ago, though operating income was up 20% as a higher interest expense and a bigger tax bite ate into the bottom line. Investors punished the stock for missing EPS estimates, but shares quickly bounced back to the previous day's close as buyers snapped up shares at what seemed to be a good price. Even as earnings dropped, management predicted record cash flow for the year, and its acquisitions seem as though they will pay off the long run. Still, its interest payments merit keeping an eye on, as debt currently sits near $1 billion.

Nexstar shares are up a whopping 400% in the past year, as the company rapidly expands its broadcasting empire. If you're looking for more unbelievable growth picks, you'll be happy to know that Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner, creator of the world's No. 1 growth-stock newsletter, has developed a unique strategy for uncovering truly wealth-changing stock picks. And he wants to share it with you, along with a few of his favorite growth stock superstars. You can get it all in a special 100% free report called "6 Picks for Ultimate Growth." So stop settling for index-hugging gains, and click here for instant access to a whole new game plan of stock picks to help power your portfolio.



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