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TWC float may hurt share price

Time Warner Cable Inc.'s stock price could face short-term pressure as more shares are expected to hit the market next month, increasing its float by about 25%, Bear Stearns analyst Spencer Wang said Tuesday. About 30 million additional TWC shares, valued at about $1.1 billion, are held in reserve since the company took public a 16% stake. The new shares likely are to be distributed in a so-called "True-Up Mechanism," designed to overcome disagreements between Adelphia's creditors as to the value of TWC shares via a test period. The addition of more shares into the market "could be a short-term negative for TWC stock as the added supply of shares could put downward pressure on the stock," Wang wrote. TWC declined comment.



Mediaset showing sector erosion

ROME — With demand in Italy's advertising market continuing to erode, analysts have begun downgrading shares in Italy's largest broadcaster or adjusting their earnings estimates downward. At least 12 investment banks recently have downgraded their rating on shares of Mediaset — the broadcast giant controlled by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi — cut earnings estimates or both since the company reported a fall in earnings May 8. Since then, reports are that TV ad prices were about 7% lower in the first four months of 2007 compared with the year-ago period.



Swiss channel mulling sale

COLOGNE, Germany — Less than a year after the successful launch of Swiss commercial channel 3+, the company's shareholders are looking to sell. 3+ program head Thorsten Prenter confirmed reports Tuesday that the Swiss station was up for sale but said he and co-owner Dominik Kaiser were "in no hurry" to find a buyer. Kaiser holds an 89% stake; Prenter controls 10%.
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