July 31, 2017 Last Updated 12:58 pm

Trinity Mirror Q2 revenue falls 14.6%; DGMT update shows revenue flat; Major media deals announced

Morning Brief: High Times magazine sold again, with value boosted by continued belief by investors that cannabis market will grow, despite efforts by the Trump administration

Tomorrow Apple reports earnings, the last of the big (that is, really big) techs to do so. American companies tend to shy away from releasing earnings on a Monday, Pandora being one of the few well-known companies reporting today. But two British media firms released reports recently: Trinity Mirror this morning and DMGT (Daily Mail) late last week.

Trinity Mirror’s report showed that overall revenue fell 14.6 percent or £54.7 million. Cost cuts enabled the publisher to report only a 9.4 percent decline in operating profits, on the other hand.

“Whilst the trading environment for print in the first half was volatile, we remain on course to meet expectations for the year,” said Simon Fox, Chief Executive, Trinity Mirror plc. “I continue to anticipate that the second half will show improving revenue momentum as we benefit from initiatives implemented during the first half of the year.”

The publisher reaffirmed its guidance and said that the company continues “to evaluate a number of ongoing opportunities that drive value and see ourselves as a consolidator in the newspaper industry.”

Daily Mail and General Trust plc, or DMGT, results were far better, at least as far as revenue was concerned. Overall revenue was flat, with the company’s B2B segment seeing revenue decline 1 percent, while DMG Media grew revenue 1 percent in the quarter.

“Our consumer media business continues to demonstrate the power of strong brands, with underlying revenue growth of 28% at MailOnline, continuing growth of market share for the Mail Newspapers titles and Metro becoming the largest weekday newspaper in the UK,” said Paul Zwillenberg, CEO, DMGT.

The publisher also reaffirmed guidance, though also said “conditions remain challenging” while saying they they should over perform compared to some of their competitors due to a diversified portfolio. (I always point to News Corp as the most diversified of the newspaper companies operating in the US, they report earnings next week.)

Sixty days ago High Times magazine was sold to a group led by the Los Angeles-based investment firm Oreva Capital and its founder Adam Levin for around $42 million. Now High Times has been sold again, this time to Origo Acquisition Corporation, and for the eye-popping valuation of $250 million, though that is based on equity, not cash.

See the news here.

This morning another big media deal was announced. Actually, this one dwarfs even the bloated valuation of the High Times deal.

Discovery Communications has agreed to Scripps Networks Interactive in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $14.6 billion, or $90 per share. Scripps brands include HGTV, Food Network and the Travel Channel, while Discovery owns Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery and Animal Planet.

See the news here.

The week starts as it ended, with Republican leadership in the Senate vowing to continue to try and pass some sort of health care bill, the White House is turmoil, and foreign relations deteriorating.

It’s Monday, and that is the worst possible thing anyone can say knowing just how crazy things are during the work week.

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