Discovery, Scripps 'in merger talks' - again

Technology and health care lift stocks to record highs

Cable channel operators Scripps Networks and Discovery Communications are jumping following a report that they could combine.

Scripps has a market value of $8.8 billion, according to the WSJ, and it airs channels such as HGTV, Travel Channel, and the Food Network.

Scripps has been targeted for takeovers in the past, and a CNBC report suggests Viacom is also interested in a deal for the business.

If Discovery and Scripps should follow through with these talks, they would make a combined $19 billion cable network that specializes in non-scripted shows. State Street Corp now owns 1,250,054 shares of the company's stock worth $24,162,000 after buying an additional 94,340 shares during the last quarter. Perigon Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,849 shares of the company's stock valued at $224,000 after buying an additional 1,162 shares during the period.

So far in 2017, Discovery and Scripps have underperformed the broad markets with each stock down 5% and 6%, respectively. While Discovery is significantly invested in its global cable channels in addition to domestic operations, Scripps has remained focused on its US channels.

Scripps shares spiked 16 percent on the reports while Discovery was gaining 3.7 percent.

What's more, none of three companies air live sports in the US, widely considered to be one of the last key draws for large television audiences that drive advertising. Viacom adds a twist to those considerations, raising the possibility of a bidding war. Over the past month the firm's stock is -0.89%, -9.44% for the last quarter, -8.27% for the past six-months and -3.67% for the previous year. Capital City Trust Company sold 6,232 shares as the company's stock declined 10.51% while stock markets rallied.

Shares of Discovery Communications were recently trading up about 4% at $27.02.

The report come amid hard times in the cable TV business as more consumers drop their pay TV subscriptions and watch digital video instead. 587.86 million shares or 1.69% more from 578.10 million shares in 2016Q3 were reported.

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