Report bullish on big media's future

Companies 'will weather storm' despite ad downturn

Media conglomerates were hammered Tuesday on Wall Street, along with the rest of the market, in a swoon that coincided with an 85-page report from Stanford Group that largely was bullish on big entertainment companies.

Stanford sees a 6% decline in U.S. advertising spending this year but said, "Large-capitalization media companies will weather the storm better than most."

Stanford said cable and satellite TV remain resilient, as does filmed entertainment. The report cites as proof of the latter that U.S. boxoffice results changed little in 2008 compared with 2007, despite last year's weaker economy.

The Stanford analysts also see opportunity in video games from the conglomerates.

Among their stock picks for 2009 are Time Warner, which sank 7% on Tuesday to $8.94, and CBS, which fell 10% to $6.48.

The S&P 500 fell 5.3% on Tuesday, and The Hollywood Reporter Showbiz 50 sank 5% with only one stock rising: Belo was up a penny to $1.82.

Among the stocks panned by Stanford were just about anything related to radio, with "sell" recommendations on Entercom Communications, Emmis Communications, Cox Radio and Cumulus Media.

While 90% of Americans listen to radio, Stanford said, they are listening to less of it, and advertisers are retreating.

"The combination of pressured cash flow and heavy debt burdens could render the equity value of many radio stocks worthless," the analysts warn. ∂with 2007, despite last year's weaker economy.

The Stanford analysts also see opportunity in video games from the conglomerates.

Among their stock picks for 2009 are Time Warner, which sank 7% on Tuesday to $8.94, and CBS, which fell 10% to $6.48.

The S&P 500 fell 5.3% on Tuesday, and The Hollywood Reporter Showbiz 50 sank 5% with only one stock rising: Belo was up a penny to $1.82.

Among the stocks panned by Stanford were just about anything related to radio, with "sell" recommendations on Entercom Communications, Emmis Communications, Cox Radio and Cumulus Media.

While 90% of Americans listen to radio, Stanford said, they are listening to less of it, and advertisers are retreating.

"The combination of pressured cash flow and heavy debt burdens could render the equity value of many radio stocks worthless," the analysts warn.
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