Tuesday, December 27, 2011

>PRINT MEDIA: Hindustan Times, Jagran Prakashan, Mint & Dainik Bhaskar

We upgrade DB Corp to BUY from ADD owing to the recent correction in the company’s stock price, while maintaining our target price at Rs244/share. HT Media remains our top pick in the sector and we expect it to outperform other print media players on the back of its increasing readership (both Hindi and English) and turnaround in its new media ventures. High newsprint prices remain a concern for the sector.

HT Media – Steady performance. HT Media witnessed a steady performance as per the IRS-2011-Q3 with its Hindi segment readership growing at 0.4% QoQ and English remaining flat. Hindustan Times maintained its leadership in Delhi ahead of Times of India in the English segment. In the Hindi segment, Hindustan maintained its leadership in Bihar and Jharkhand while posting a steady increase in its readership in Uttar Pradesh.

DBCL – Strong growth. Dainik Bhaskar continued with its steady performance, growing 0.6% ex-Jharkhand as per the IRS-2011-Q3. The newspaper posted a strong 2% and 8% growth in readership in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh respectively, thereby maintaining its leadership. Dainik Bhaskar’s performance in Jharkhand was strong given that the IRS-2011-Q3 included the readership of its Ranchi edition for only nine months.

Jagran Prakashan – Numero uno. Dainik Jagran maintained its overall leadership in 2011 Q3 in terms of Average Issue Readership (AIR), growing 0.4% over the previous quarter. Jagran’s AIR grew a robust 4.9% QoQ and 6.1% QoQ in Bihar and Uttaranchal respectively. In Uttar Pradesh, Jagran’s readership declined by 0.3% QoQ but it continues to report strong numbers in key urban towns of Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi.

Mint – Maintains its no. 2 position. Mint maintains its position as the country’s no 2 business daily in terms of AIR, witnessing a 5.4% growth QoQ. Mint (ex-Hyderabad and Ahmedabad) enjoys an AIR of 253,000 against 812,000 for The Economic Times and 161,000 for Business Standard as of Q3 2011.

Mid-Day posted a strong 6.4% QoQ growth, reversing its trend of declining readership since 2009R2. Mumbai Mirror’s AIR was flat in the latest IRS at 760,000 against 380,000 for Mid-Day.