Why the Nine (ASX:NEC) share price hit another 52-week high

The Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC) share price has gone back to back, hitting yet another 52-week high today. We take a look at why.

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Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) shares have today reached another 52-week high after the company announced Mr Mike Sneesby would become its new CEO from 1 April 2021.

In morning trade, the Nine share price jumped nearly 3% to reach a new 52-week high of $3.16 after also setting a new yearly high in yesterday's session. At the time of writing, Nine shares have partially retreated to $3.075, up 0.16% for the day so far. 

Management comments

In a statement to the ASX, Nine Entertainment chair and former federal treasurer Peter Costello said:

Under Mike's leadership, Nine will be able to maintain the strong momentum it has built in audience, subscribers, content, revenue, and earnings. Mike is well placed to continue to drive Nine's transformation as a digitally-led business which is actively adapting to meet the contemporary media consumption habits of Australians.

Mr Costello added:

I also want to pay tribute to the remarkable tenure of [soon-to-be former CEO] Hugh Marks…Through the combined strength that came from the Nine-Fairfax merger, our current market capitalisation has grown to just over $5 billion…

His time as CEO has seen Nine make a number of key strategic decisions, which not only redefined Nine but changed the wider media landscape in Australia.

Regarding his upcoming appointment, Mr Sneesby said:

I am honored to be entrusted with this important role, to be the custodian for many of Australia's most important, valuable and iconic media brands. I have worked alongside my colleagues at Nine for many years and I look forwarding (sic) to building our future together as we embrace the opportunities presented in the emerging and growing digital future.

Who is Nine's new CEO?

Prior to his appointment as Nine CEO, Mr Sneesby was CEO of the company's streaming service, Stan, for seven years. According to Roy Morgan, Stan's viewership has grown by more than 46% over the course of 2020. In comparison, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX) grew by 19% during the period.

Stan is in the midst of launching its latest project, Stan Sport. The streaming service securing the rights to Rugby Union Australia matches (including the Wallabies and Super Rugby) for the next three years.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, one of the reasons for Mr Sneesby's appointment was his extensive experience gained over many years in television.

Recent turmoil at the Nine board

Along with the resignation of current CEO Hugh Marks, who left after revealing an intra-office affair, one member of the board resigned yesterday and another is contemplating his future with the company.

Despite these troubles, investors have been bullish on the media conglomerate over the past year. The Nine share price has surged by more than 280% from its March 2020 low of 82 cents to its current level. 

Motley Fool contributor Marc Sidarous has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Netflix. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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