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Credit Suisse analyst Bryan Kraft on Monday upgraded his rating on the cable and satellite sector to “marketweight,” citing “our bullish view toward cable fundamentals, cable’s solid long-term strategic position, attractive valuations on 2008 estimates and our view that cable industry consolidation will continue.” He suggested cable stocks would outperform in the second half of the year and specificaly upgraded shares of Mediacom Communications and Charter Communications.
Shares of Sirius Satellite Radio were skittish Monday even after Bear Stearns upgraded the stock from “underperform” to “outperform” and said that the company’s proposed merger with rival XM Satellite Radio could still go through. Sirius rose just a penny to $2.89 after a more dramatic bounce following the market’s opening. XM dipped 9 cents to $11.19. The stock prices of both companies have continued to slip since Feb. 19 when they announced plans to combine operations in an all-stock deal that faces several regulatory hurdles. In upgrading Sirius, analyst Robert Peck wrote that “the merger overhang has overly weighed on the stock.”
Palm selling 25% stake
Treo smartphone maker Palm Inc. said Monday that it will sell a 25% stake to private-equity firm Elevation Partners for $325 million in a deal that brings in a former senior Apple Inc. executive as chairman. Palm shares climbed 9.2% as investors hoped the cash infusion and the appointment of Jon Rubinstein, previously senior vp and GM of Apple’s iPod unit, as executive chairman, will revive the Palm brand and perhaps develop a relationship with Apple. Palm shares closed at $17.57.
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