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Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet on Monday upgraded his view on the U.S. cable sector, saying “valuations look compelling.” He raised his rating on Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable from “hold/medium risk” to “buy/medium risk.” Bazinet also boosted his price target on Comcast from $30 to $33 and on TWC from $42 to $44. “We increasingly sense that the marginal cable investor is willing to forgo near-term (free-cash-flow) growth to achieve robust (operating-cash-flow) growth,” he said.
Marvel red hot
Shares of Marvel Entertainment Inc. rose 8% on Monday to $28.35 after the firm said it has authorized another $200 million share-buyback program after completing a $100 million repurchase plan. The stock went as high as $28.47 intraday, close to its 52-week high of $30.95. Under the program that wraps at year’s end, Marvel will buy back shares on the open market or in private purchases. CEO Isaac Perlmutter, the company’s largest shareholder, agreed not to sell any of his Marvel shares during the period. Marvel led Monday’s gainers on The Hollywood Reporter’s Showbiz 50 stock index.
Forgent Networks Inc., which provides scheduling software and licenses intellectual property, said Monday that it has agreed in principle to settle a patent lawsuit against DirecTV Group Inc. for $8 million. According to the agreement, the companies will “work in good faith to reach a final definitive settlement agreement,” which will include an $8 million payment by DirecTV, Forgent said, adding that it also has agreed to grant DirecTV a patent license. Forgent initiated patent lawsuits in July 2005 against 15 companies, seeking an injunction against sales of products infringing on the patent as well as monetary damages.
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