Euro Stocks: ITV, Sky, ProSieben Among Entertainment Gainers This Year
France's Vivendi and European TV giant RTL are down slightly for the year as of Dec. 30.
German TV company ProSiebenSat.1, U.K. broadcaster ITV and pan-European pay TV giant Sky were among the European entertainment industry players whose stocks posted strong gains in 2015.
Sky, in its first full year after the deals that created it, saw its shares rise amid continued subscriber growth. As of Thursday, the stock was up 24.9 percent for the year and closed the trading day at $16.65 (£11.23). 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky, which operates pay TV platforms in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Austria.
In the U.K., ITV posted another year of stock gains. The stock closed Thursday at $4.10 (£2.765), up 31.7 percent. The company during the year continued to acquire TV production outfits to diversify its revenue. Also, John Malone's Liberty Global increased its stake in ITV to 9.9 percent.
German TV giant ProSiebenSat.1 and German media powerhouse Bertelsmann's RTL Group saw their stocks go in different directions. ProSieben shares were up 34.3 percent for the year as of Thursday evening at $51.00 (€46.76). But RTL was down 2.6 percent at $84.05 (€77.05).
In France, Vivendi, the owner of pay TV firm Canal Plus, Universal Music Group and other businesses, was also down for the year. As of Thursday, its shares were 4.3 percent lower at $21.60 (€19.80).
Italy's Mediaset, meanwhile was in solid positive territory for the year. The company, founded by Silvio Berlusconi, as of Thursday was up 11.3 percent for the year at $4.18 (€3.83).
Going into 2016, analysts continue to like ITV. Peel Hunt analyst Alex DeGroote, who rates the stock a "buy," tells THR that he likes the company's "good earnings growth, good online presence, take-over potential" and adds that the value of its ITV Studios business is still "unrecognized."
Nomura's team of analysts continues to recommend ITV and Sky. "Entering another year of moderate late-cycle growth, we still prefer a stock-picking, rather than a macro-driven approach," they said in a report looking ahead at 2016. "This encourages a continued preference for stocks that continue to deliver a good total shareholder return, continue to reward shareholders and have re-rating potential."