ViacomCBS, Discovery both fell 27%, leading media stock sales

PHOTO FILE: ViacomCBS is headquartered in New York, New York, USA Dec. 5, 2019. REUTERS / Kate Munsch

(Reuters) – Shares in media companies ViacomCBS and Discovery Inc fell around 27% every Friday, lamenting a week of recession and putting both stocks around 50% below their highs recently.

ViacomCBS closed at $ 18.12 at $ 48.23, marking a higher one-day percentage decline, with trading volume more than five times the 10-day moving average. The stock had peaked at $ 101.97 on March 15 before starting to lose ground over several sessions.

Discovery shares fell $ 15.85 to $ 41.90 in the largest one-day percentage decline as well, with volume exceeding eight times the 10-day moving average. That stock has now fallen 45.8% over five straight sessions of decline after hitting a high of $ 78.14 on March 19th.

Wells Fargo on Friday lowered Viacom to “fat” from “equal weight” and lowered their price target for the stock from $ 82 to $ 59, announcing a sale of $ 2.7 billion earlier in the week.

Both stocks had skyrocketed this year over increased desire for unvalued names, recently launched streaming services and the cancellation of bearish investor bets. Viacom was still showing a 29% gain so far compared to Discovery’s 39%. At their 2021 highs Discovery was up about 160% so far while ViacomCBS had gone up as much as 174%.

“Truth may be coming in,” said Eric Handler of MKM Partners, which handles Discovery.

Large blocks of shares in both companies were put on the market on Friday, possibly exacerbating the recessions, Handler said.

Chris Marangi, co-chief investment officer for value at the Gabelli Fund, which was Viacom’s second-largest owner of voting stock at the end of January, also said the outside trades were a factor in a sharp fall in stock.

“It’s huge. That’s the reason for Friday’s decline, Marangi said. Also on Friday Fox Corp shares fell 6.2% to $ 37.80 while News Corp fell 1.9% to $ 25.72.

Reciting with Sinéad Carew; Edited by Ira Iosebashvili and Aurora Ellis