Mediaset earnings estimate lowered

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ROME -- U.S. investment banking firm Goldman Sachs on Thursday downgraded its earnings estimates for Italian broadcast giant Mediaset, but the shares still inched upward in a strong day of trading on Milan's Italian Stock Exchange.

Goldman Sachs, citing an overall slowdown in the Italian television market, predicted that 2007 earnings for the Silvio Berlusconi-controlled company would come in at €0.48 ($0.64), compared with €0.52 in previous estimates. Estimates for next year were similarly lowered, from €0.55 to €0.50. The investment bank's overall rating for Mediaset shares remained neutral.

Mediaset would not comment on the lower earnings estimates.

The company's shares closed 0.7% higher Thursday, gaining €0.05 to close at €8.14 ($10.85) -- the second consecutive rising session for the shares, which have underperformed the media sector this year.
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