LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Piers Morgan seen leaving his West London residence to take his daughter Elise to highschool
Photo by MWE/GC Images
ITV shares slid 3.8% Wednesday following the resignation of high-profile presenter Piers Morgan over feedback he made about Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The British broadcaster confirmed Morgan’s departure in an announcement on Tuesday, hours after he stormed off the set of the “Good Morning Britain” present, which has been drawing document market share this month, following criticism of his remarks.
Tuesday’s present drew greater than 41,000 complaints to the U.Ok.’s tv regulator Ofcom, which has since confirmed that it’s investigating the feedback. Morgan accused Meghan of mendacity about having suicidal despair and being denied assist throughout her time as a member of the royal household.
ITV additionally on Tuesday reported a 33.5% fall in working revenue for 2020 and a pointy drop in advert revenues, with analysts noting considerations that an accelerated shift to streaming providers was making life troublesome for broadcasters reliant on conventional tv promoting.
Roddy Davidson, media analyst at Shore Capital who covers the inventory, advised CNBC Wednesday that Morgan’s departure could also be taking part in a component within the continued decline for the corporate’s shares, however advised Tuesday’s earnings had been nonetheless the principle driver of share worth motion, together with potential profit-taking by traders after a powerful last six months of the 12 months.
“Good Morning Britain is an important part of the daytime schedule, and Piers Morgan is a bit of a marmite character, but he is pretty watchable for that, whether you agree or disagree with him,” Davidson stated.
“I thought the disappointing aspect of yesterday’s results was the fact that they didn’t pay a final dividend. The debt has substantially reduced, the company is in strong shape financially, it is cash generative, and the comments were certainly more positive with regard to the advertising revenue line bouncing back as Covid restrictions are lifted.”
Davidson stated the dearth of a dividend cost was a “missed opportunity” to reward shareholders after a turbulent 12 months, through which the cancellation of main exhibits reminiscent of “Love Island” and the acceleration of viewers transitioning to streaming providers weighed on ITV’s viewership.
Russ Mould, funding director at stockbroking platform AJ Bell, additionally famous that whereas the Morgan controversy might have a direct impression, traders ought to stay centered on the basics.
“I’m sure that that program is a big advertising spinner for them, because it’s incredibly well-watched. He certainly seems to have been important to that program’s success and it will be intriguing to see how it continues without him,” Mould advised CNBC on Wednesday.
However, he advised that the corporate’s stiff competitors within the streaming market and difficult advert atmosphere, together with takeover hypothesis, would stay the important thing drivers of share worth exercise.
“If you’re bullish on the stock, you’re looking for an economic upturn, you’re looking for an advertising upturn, and you’re looking for somebody maybe to buy it for its very rich content library,” he stated.
“The bear cases are a tough economic environment, stacks of competition and a model that is potentially being severely challenged over time.”