Digest: Rainbow talk resurfaces
EmptyWall Street talk about a possible acquisition of Cablevision Systems' cable networks unit Rainbow Media by Liberty Media resurfaced Wednesday as the New York Post reported informal talks. Observers suggested that Liberty could boost its content power by acquiring Rainbow, for which Cablevision previously mulled its options. But Liberty CEO Greg Maffei recently signaled a deal could be problematic. The Post reported "informal (deal) chatter between friendly moguls," namely Liberty chairman John Malone and Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan. Cablevision declined comment. Liberty officials couldn't be reached. Cablevision has been reviewing a going-private proposal by the Dolan family that controls it.
BRUSSELS -- Liberty Global said Wednesday that it has completed its €322.5 million ($428.3 million) purchase of Czech cable operator Karneval Media and the €184.5 million ($245 million) sale of its Belgian cable business to Belgian cable and broadband firm Telenet. In its deal, Liberty's Czech unit formally took over the country's No. 2 cable firm, giving it more than 70% control of the local market.
Google leads movers
Shares of Google Inc. rose 1.5% on Wednesday to $467.59 on bullish analyst notes. Stifel Nicolaus said Wednesday that the Internet search firm has replaced eBay Inc. on its "select" list of favorite stocks. Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy also reaffirmed Google as his top large-capitalization stock pick for 2007 and boosted his price target $30 to $630. Also gaining were XM Satellite Radio, which jumped 5.3% to $15.21, and Sirius Satellite Radio, up 5.7% to $3.74. Sirius said late Tuesday that it has met its year-end subscriber target range and likely turned free cash flow-positive for the first time in the fourth quarter.