Head-to-head contrast: iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) versus Cumulus Media (NASDAQ: CMLS)

iHeartMedia (NASDAQ:IHRT – Get Rating) and Cumulus Media (NASDAQ:CMLS – Get Rating) are both small-cap consumer discretionary companies, but which is the best investment? We’ll compare the two companies based on valuation strength, profitability, earnings, risk, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, and dividends.


This table compares the net margins, return on equity and return on assets of iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media.

Net margins Return on equity return on assets
iHeartMedia 0.92% 5.40% 0.52%
Cumulus Media 4.04% 3.63% 0.86%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and price targets for iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, as reported by MarketBeat.com.

Sales Ratings Hold odds Buy reviews Strong buy odds Rating
iHeartMedia 1 3 2 0 2.17
Cumulus Media 0 0 3 0 3.00

iHeartMedia currently has a consensus price target of $16.67, indicating a potential upside of 131.48%. Cumulus Media has a consensus price target of $24.67, indicating a potential upside of 219.10%. Given Cumulus Media’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe that Cumulus Media is more favorable than iHeartMedia.

Valuation and benefits

This table compares the revenue, earnings per share (EPS), and valuation of iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media.

Gross revenue Price/sales ratio Net revenue Earnings per share Price/earnings ratio
iHeartMedia $3.56 billion 0.29 -$159.20 million $0.23 31.31
Cumulus Media $916.47 million 0.17 $17.28 million $1.83 4.22

Cumulus Media has lower earnings, but higher earnings than iHeartMedia. Cumulus Media trades at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than iHeartMedia, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

80.2% of iHeartMedia’s shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 70.9% of Cumulus Media shares are held by institutional investors. 2.9% of iHeartMedia shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 3.2% of Cumulus Media shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership indicates that large fund managers, endowments, and hedge funds believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Risk and Volatility

iHeartMedia has a beta of 1.91, which means its stock price is 91% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Cumulus Media has a beta of 1.59, which means its stock price is 59% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Cumulus Media beats iHeartMedia on 8 out of 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

iHeartMedia Company Profile (Get an evaluation)

iHeartMedia, Inc. operates as a worldwide media and entertainment company. It operates through three segments: Multiplatform Group, Digital Audio Group and Audio and Multimedia Services Group. The Multiplatform Group segment offers broadcast radio stations, sponsorship and live and virtual events; and operates Premiere Networks, a national radio network that produces, distributes or represents approximately 120 syndicated radio programs and services to approximately 6,400 affiliated radio stations. It also provides real-time information on traffic flows and incidents, as well as weather, sports and news updates via approximately 2,100 radio stations and 170 affiliated television channels, as well as Internet and mobiles. As of December 31, 2021, this segment held 863 radio stations, including 249 AM radio stations and 614 FM radio stations. The Digital Audio Group segment provides podcasts, digital sites, newsletters, digital services and programs; and iHeartRadio, a mobile app and web service for radio stations, digital-only stations, custom artist stations, and podcasts. The Audio and Media Services Group segment is engaged in media representation business. This segment also provides cloud and on-premises broadcast software, such as radio and television automation, music programming, newsroom automation, ad sales management, rework solutions after disaster; and real-time audio recognition technology to approximately 10,000 radio and television stations, cable channels, record labels, advertisers and agencies, as well as media streaming and search services. The company was formerly known as CC Media Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to iHeartMedia, Inc. in September 2014. iHeartMedia, Inc. is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

Cumulus Media Company Profile (Get an evaluation)

Cumulus Media logoCumulus Media Inc., an audio-focused media company, owns and operates radio stations in the United States. It owns and operates 406 stations in 86 markets, as well as approximately 9,500 stations affiliated through Westwood One. The Company’s content portfolio includes sports, news, talk and entertainment shows from various brands, including the NFL, NCAA, Masters, CNN, AP, Academy of Country Music Awards and other partners. It also provides digital marketing services, such as email marketing, location-based display and video solutions, website and microsite creation, hosting, social media management, reputation and search engine marketing and optimization. The Company serves advertisers through broadcast and on-demand digital, mobile, social and voice-enabled platforms. Cumulus Media Inc. was incorporated in 2002 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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