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Most large-cap new media companies expected to show YOY gains in Q4'16

Analysts expect most large-cap new media companies will report year-over-year earnings-per-share growth for the fourth quarter of 2016, but sequential comparisons will be tougher.

Looking at 12 companies on the SNL Kagan Large-Cap New Media Index, which includes new media companies with market capitalization greater than $5 billion, nine are expected to show year-over-year EPS growth, but analysts expect only seven will show growth on a sequential basis. Companies with fewer than two analyst estimates were excluded from the analysis of S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Apple Inc. is among the minority expected to report a year-over-year EPS decline for the recently ended period, which marks Apple's 2017 fiscal first quarter. The mean EPS consensus estimate for the iPhone maker is $3.23, down 5 cents from the $3.28 per share that Apple reported in its comparable quarter one year earlier. EPS of $3.23 would beat the $1.67 per share that Apple reported in the quarter ended Sept. 24, 2016, however.

Analysts are even more optimistic about new media revenue for the just-ended quarter, with ten out of 12 companies analyzed expected to report year-over-year revenue gains. Microsoft Corp. is among the two expected to show a year-over-year decline in revenue, with a mean consensus revenue estimate of about $25.17 billion for the just-ended period, or 2.1% less than Microsoft reported a year earlier.

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