Investors never know what to expect for E.W. Scripps Co. (NYSE: SSP), as it has wavered between topping and missing analysts estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday. The E. W. Scripps Co. is a media concern with interests in national television networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television, interactive media, and licensing and syndication.

What analysts say

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts are very bullish on this stock, unanimously backing it as a buy. Analysts like E.W. Scripps Co. better than competitor Journal Communications overall. One out of two analysts rate Journal Communications a buy compared to two of two for E.W. Scripps Co. Analysts haven't adjusted their rating of E.W. Scripps Co. for the past three months.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $184.1 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a decline of 2.5% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.03 per share.

What our community says
The majority of CAPS All-Stars see SSP as a good bet, with 70.6% assigning it an outperform rating. The majority of Fools are in agreement with the All-Stars as 66.3% give it an outperform rating. Fools are gung-ho about E.W. Scripps, though the message boards have been quiet lately with only 41 posts in the past 30 days. E.W. Scripps' bearish CAPS rating of two out of five stars falls short of the Fool community sentiment.

Management
The company's gross margin shrank by 2.5 percentage points in the last quarter. Revenue fell 9.4% while cost of sales rose 7.6% to $28.4 million from a year earlier.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q1

Q4

Q3

Q2

Gross Margin

84.2%

87.6%

85.3%

86.0%

Operating Margin

(5.8%)

13.1%

0.4%

1.7%

Net Margin

(4.9%)

11.6%

3.4%

52.7%

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