ITV share price heads south as group flags advertising drop in Q4

Advertising revenue rises in first nine months of the year

ITV share price heads south as group flags advertising drop in Q4

Shares in ITV (LON:ITV) have fallen deep into the red this morning, even as the company posted a rise in revenue for the first nine months of the year. The blue-chip broadcaster, however, cautioned that advertising would drop in the last quarter of 2018.

As of 09:39 GMT, ITV’s share price had given up 4.05 percent to 148.00p. The group’s shares are underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having surged 1.12 percent to 7,119.51 points so far today.

ITV posts third-quarter results

ITV announced in a statement this morning that its overall performance in the first nine months of the year was in line with the company’s expectations, with total external revenue climbing six percent to £2.26 billion. Total ITV Studios revenue came in 10 percent up at £1.11 billion, while total advertising was up two percent, with 43 percent growth in online advertising.

ITV’s chief executive Carolyn McCall, however, cautioned that that it was seeing softening in its Family NAR in the last three months of the year due to the increasingly uncertain economic environment and as a result expected total advertising to be down around three percent in the fourth quarter and broadly flat over the full year.

Today’s results come after the blue-chip broadcaster appointed Micro Focus’ (LON:MCRO) CFO as its new finance chief. Chris Kennedy, who will join ITV next year, is a former easyJet (LON:EZJ) colleague of Carolyn McCall.

Analysts weigh in on update

“Although overall performance is in line with management expectations, Q3 numbers still leave a bit of a bad taste in the mouth,” Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented, as quoted by the BBC, adding that while the broadcaster’s content was “still getting bums on sofas, with viewing numbers up nicely, a gloomy economic outlook means the attention of the viewing public isn’t as attractive to advertisers as it once was”.

As of 09:58 GMT, Wednesday, 07 November, ITV plc share price is 147.95p.

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