Comparing Discovery Communications (DISCK) and Liberty Global PLC (LBTYA)

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCK) and Liberty Global PLC (NASDAQ:LBTYA) are both mid-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the better investment? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, risk, dividends, valuation, earnings, institutional ownership and profitabiliy.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

47.9% of Discovery Communications shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 23.6% of Liberty Global PLC shares are owned by institutional investors. 5.0% of Discovery Communications shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 5.8% of Liberty Global PLC shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Risk & Volatility

Discovery Communications has a beta of 1.5, meaning that its share price is 50% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Liberty Global PLC has a beta of 1.68, meaning that its share price is 68% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of recent ratings for Discovery Communications and Liberty Global PLC, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Discovery Communications 0 0 0 0 N/A
Liberty Global PLC 0 2 11 0 2.85

Liberty Global PLC has a consensus price target of $41.67, indicating a potential upside of 41.92%. Given Liberty Global PLC’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Liberty Global PLC is more favorable than Discovery Communications.

Profitability

This table compares Discovery Communications and Liberty Global PLC’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Discovery Communications 17.50% 23.67% 7.89%
Liberty Global PLC 11.98% 14.26% 2.67%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Discovery Communications and Liberty Global PLC’s revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Discovery Communications $6.55 billion 1.73 $2.47 billion $1.91 13.38
Liberty Global PLC $19.85 billion 1.52 $8.80 billion $2.17 13.53

Liberty Global PLC has higher revenue and earnings than Discovery Communications. Discovery Communications is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Liberty Global PLC, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Summary

Liberty Global PLC beats Discovery Communications on 8 of the 13 factors compared between the two stocks.

Discovery Communications Company Profile

Discovery Communications, Inc. (Discovery) is a global media company. The Company provides content across multiple distribution platforms, including pay-television (pay-TV), free-to-air (FTA) and broadcast television, Websites, digital distribution arrangements and content licensing agreements. Its segments include U.S. Networks, which consists principally of domestic television networks and digital content services; International Networks, consisting primarily of international television networks and digital content services, and Education and Other, which consists principally of curriculum-based product and service offerings, and production studios. The Company’s portfolio of networks includes television brands, such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, ID, Velocity (known as Turbo outside of the United States) and Eurosport. It is also engaged in extending content distribution across various platforms, including brand-aligned Websites, Web-native networks and online streaming.

Liberty Global PLC Company Profile

Liberty Global PLC, formerly Liberty Global, Inc., is an international cable company with operations in 14 countries. The Company’s tripleplay services are provided through networks and technology platforms that connect approximately 25 million customers subscribing to over 47 million television, broadband Internet and telephony services. The Company’s consumer brands include Virgin Media, UPC, Unitymedia, Kabel BW, Telenet and VTR. The Company’s operations also include Chellomedia, the Company’s content division, Liberty Global Business Services, a commercial division and Liberty Global Ventures, its investment fund. In June 2013, Liberty Global Inc completed the acquisition of Virgin Media Inc (Virgin Media).

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