Are things at Corus Entertainment (Corus Entertainment Stock Quote, Chart, News TSX:CJR.B) really as bad as they look?
The stock is way down for the year and showing little signs of life, with recent quarterly results looking troublesome, as well. But despite the current uncertainty in the advertising space, portfolio manager Jamie Murray thinks there’s probably good value in Corus — as long as the company can make it through the rough patches.
TV and radio broadcaster and Global TV owner Corus delivered its fiscal third quarter 2020 results on June 26, with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic clearly in view.
Corus managed $349 million in revenue, down from $458 million a year earlier, with advertising revenue dropping to $207.9 million from $314.2 million a year ago.
Corus also suffered a one-time impairment charge related to broadcast licenses and goodwill to the tune of $786.8 million, taking its quarterly net loss to $752.3 million or a loss of $3.61 per share.
The company said that though viewership and engagement across all its platforms were up during the quarter ended May 31, advertising was down since it depends heavily on sales and economic activity, both of which are under pressure during the COVID crisis. Corus management said it’s too soon to judge the long-term impacts of the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn on its business.
“Corus remains focused on our essential role in delivering news, information and entertainment to communities across Canada in the face of the challenges brought on by COVID and its significant impact on our third quarter results,” said president and CEO Doug Murphy in a press release.
Corus had been doing well in recent years to right its ship and bring its debt load under control, and while the stock is clearly suffering due to uncertainties surrounding the future of television in the age of streaming, Murray thinks the company should do alright going forward.
“Corus has a pretty stable revenue base,” said Murray, head of research at the Murray Wealth Group, who spoke on BNN Bloomberg on Tuesday. “Right now, it's the TV properties that generate advertising revenue and viewership subscription revenue, and I think there are a lot of questions coming out of COVID-19 where we're seeing advertising revenue fall just for many traditional advertising forms and whether that money is going to come back to this medium.”
“Longer term, for the next couple of years, Corus has a fairly stable revenue base, decent free cash flow and they just have a large debt load right now that they're trying to manage,” Murray said. “If they can manage through the debt load and bring that down, and the revenue can hold up beyond that two- to three-year mark then it will probably do quite well.”
“I wouldn't look at selling it right at its lows. We just actually purchased a little bit of this
around $2.70 so still ten per cent higher from here,” Murray said.
Currently, Corus is down 52 per cent for the year and down 56 per cent for the last 12 months.