Tuesdata: How media shareholders were slashed by the falling knife
Welcome to Unmade’s final Tuesdata of the year.
Today we look back on how the nine ASX-listed media and marketing businesses fared in 2022.
The full version of this email is only available to Unmade’s paying members. Everyone else will hit a paywall further down.
There are three new reasons why it’s a good day to sign up.
We’ve locked the archive. All of our posts that are more than two months old are now available to our paying members only;
The Unmade annual membership now includes one hour of confidential consulting with Tim Burrowes on publishing, or trade press strategy.
The standard annual price of $650 has been reduced to $338 - but only if you sign up this week, via the button below. The price will never be that low again.
A dismal year for media investors
This time last year we named a CEO of the year. From the eight ASX-listed media and marketing companies which we track on the Unmade Index, we calculated who had delivered the most shareholder growth.
In 2021, it was Seven West Media’s CEO James Warburton. He grew the company’s market capitalisation by $477m last year.
This year there’ll be no CEO of the Year. Without exception, every company on the Unmade Index lost market capitalisation.
It seems unfair to lay that at the doors of the respective CEOs when most of the decline was because of fading sentiment about the media sector globally, combined with a healthy dose of fear about the year to come. The Sydney Morning Herald obtained an early look at the November Standard Media Index numbers yesterday, and it looks like the post lockdown run is over.
The market has already priced in a decline, and has been downgrading media stocks all year.
We began the Unmade Index at the start of 2022 with a nominal opening value of 1000 points. It never traded above that point all year. It closed yesterday at 646.3 points. That’s a fall of 35.37%.
The worst day came on June 16, when the Unmade Index bottomed out at 587.05 points - a fall of 41.2% on the year’s opening. A fall of 20% represents a bear market. A fall of 40% is perhaps the metaphorical version of being attacked by a drop bear.
To put it another way for non investors: Even with the slight recovery from the June low, if you’d bought $1,000 worth of media shares on January 1, your investment is now worth $646.
Because of the painful way that maths works, those investors will now need to see their shares grow by 55% just to get back to where they started.
Although we won’t name a CEO of the year, we’re not going to name a dunce of the year either. We will, however, calculate how much market capitalisation each business has lost, and put it in ranked order. You can call that whatever you like.
In alphabetical order, the nine organisations featured are: Domain, Enero, HT&E, The Market Herald, Nine, Ooh Media, Pureprofile Seven West Media and Southern Cross Austereo.
We’ll provide two tables. First, the biggest market cap losses in dollar terms, then in percentage terms.