ITV share price rises ahead of group’s full-year results

Morgan Stanley expects broadcaster to drop special dividend

ITV share price rises ahead of group’s full-year results

Shares in ITV (LON:ITV) have advanced in London in today’s session, ahead of the group’s full-year results tomorrow. The update will come after former easyJet (LON:EZJ) boss Carolyn McCall recently took the reins at the blue-chip broadcaster.

As of 14:19 GMT, ITV’s share price had added 2.08 percent to 175.00p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.17 percent higher at 7,302.10 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 11 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 0.7-percent rise in the Footsie.

ITV to post results

ITV is set to update investors on its full-year performance tomorrow and City A.M. reports that analysts are forecasting a pre-tax profit of £741 million, while the group’s new chief executive Carolyn McCall is expected to flag £757 million for 2018.

Investors will also be eyeing an update on ITV’s dividend, with The Times reporting that Morgan Stanley predicts that the broadcaster’s special dividend would be dropped. Analysts at the investment bank, however, have played down market concerns that McCall is set to increase spending on shows above the annual £1 billion benchmark under former ITV CEO Adam Crozier.

The newspaper further reported that 18 months after ITV’s failed bid for Peppa Pig producer Entertainment One, Morgan Stanley had said that it would not be surprised if the FTSE 100 group’s new management looked again at whether this bigger scale of acquisition “might be appropriate to accelerate the shift away from the traditional broadcast business”.

Rating update

The 20 analysts offering 12-month price targets for ITV for the Financial Times have a median target of 202.00p on the shares, with a high estimate of 330.00p and a low estimate of 110.00p. As of February 24, the consensus forecast amongst 20 polled investment analysts covering the blue-chip broadcaster has it that the company will outperform the market.  

As of 14:49 GMT, Tuesday, 27 February, ITV plc share price is 174.20p.

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