Digest: Marvel stock cut

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Shares of Marvel Entertainment finished unchanged Tuesday even though Citigroup cut the stock from "buy" to "hold," citing valuation. Citigroup said there is limited upside to Marvel shares after strong recent gains and amid fewer catalysts during the next six months. Marvel shares closed at $26.50. The stock has traded between $13.83-$28.72 during the past year.

Mediaset tumbles

ROME -- Mediaset, Italy's largest private broadcaster, said Tuesday that its profit fell by more than a fifth over the first three quarters of the year to €369.1 million ($468.8 million) as operating costs rose and revenue was mostly flat. The drop stemmed from Italian operations, which account for about two-thirds of Mediaset's revenue. Overseas revenue and profits increased slightly compared with a year ago. Mediaset is controlled by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Europe's wealthiest media tycoon. Together with state broadcaster RAI, Mediaset controls more than 90% of Italian viewer hours. Advertising revenue declined by about 1% compared with the first three quarters of 2005, reaching €2.1 billion ($2.7 billion).

Spanish b'cast 'weak'

Spanish Broadcasting System said Tuesday that it swung to a third-quarter profit on higher revenue and lower operating and income-tax expenses. The company reported a profit of $843,000, compared with a loss of $33 million a year ago. Revenue rose 7% year-over-year to $45.9 million, with core radio revenue up only 3%. The company said that this performance outpaced the overall radio market. TV revenue climbed 7%. Miller Tabak + Co. analyst David Joyce downgraded the stock from "buy" to "neutral," citing "weak" quarterly results and "softer-than-industry" fourth-quarter guidance. The stock fell 4.6% to $4.52.
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