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Stock of the week: ITV

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Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, picks broadcaster ITV as stock of the week.

It’s a busy time for ITV at present with the broadcaster showcasing popular programmes such as Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, the 2016 Brit Awards and Mr Selfridge. Alongside that, takeover rumours have resurfaced, a new chairman has been announced and the group has said it expects good growth in 2016. As a result of all these encouraging aspects, ITV is our share of the week this week.

Recent results have demonstrated that the business is continuing to move in the right direction. Analysts are encouraged by the improvement at its Studios business, with a significant increase in new commissions and its digital offering. Furthermore, investors should note that a trading update in November stated that revenue for the first nine months was up by 13% and that the next one is due on Wednesday.

With so many options now available to consumers, ITV has had to fight hard to maximise its audience share. In a fast changing environment the changes that have been made in the group appear to have come in time to save what was once a troubled company. The debt situation has been addressed which has enabled the group to make a number of acquisitions, geared towards boosting its production business.

So can the group continue with its improvement? Recent figures suggest that there could be more to come in the medium to longer term, especially with the possibility of a bid. We therefore continue to recommend ITV as a ‘buy’ for growth seekers.

Since we moved to a buy on the shares in late 2009, the share price has risen by around 680%. Investors should appreciate that future growth is likely to be more conservative.


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