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Evercore analyst lifts TEGNA to 'outperform' after station deal announced

Evercore ISI analyst David Joyce raised TEGNA Inc.'s rating to "outperform" from "in line," following news that TEGNA will acquire 11 TV stations in eight markets from Nexstar Media Group Inc. for $740 million, reported March 25.

Joyce wrote that the market is "misinterpreting the price" TEGNA is paying for the stations. The analyst calculated TEGNA is paying 6.7x EBITDA after retransmission rate resets, other synergies and tax benefits, making the acquisition about 11% accretive. Shares of TEGNA fell 4.6% between March 19, the day before the deal announcement, and March 22.

Nexstar is selling television stations following its acquisition of Tribune Media Co.

Joyce also set an $18 price target on TEGNA's stock, up from $16. The stock opened trading on the NYSE on March 25 at $14.12 per share.