Analyst Greenfield bullish on resurging MTV

Credits creative cycles, not corporate bosses

NEW YORK -- Viacom's MTV is "in the early stages of a resurgence," and its ratings and advertising revenue will continue to show positive momentum in the coming months, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said in a note to investors Wednesday.

Pointing out Viacom's low stock valuation, he encouraged investors to take a fresh look at the stock, arguing "the market has yet to appropriately value it."

Why the low stock price? "Investors flippantly say it's the Sumner Redstone discount or that Philippe Dauman is uninspiring as a CEO," Greenfield said, acknowledging that he has done so in the past as well, including one time just before former CEO Tom Freston left and Dauman took over.

But Greenfield didn't credit current management with the new-found MTV momentum. "We would be hard pressed to say the turn at MTV is due to Redstone or Dauman's creative instincts," he wrote. "We suspect more than anything else, MTV goes through creative surges and lulls, and we are in the early stages of a resurgence."

With "Jersey Shore's" ratings building week-on-week, most attention has been on that one reality show. But Greenfield argued that "the success at MTV (Networks) goes well beyond one show or even one network." His conclusion: "Fears that "Jersey Shore" is a one-hit wonder like "Tila Tequila" will start to fade, and investors will begin to give Viacom credit for the ratings momentum across their networks (both large and small) -- the creative juices are flowing again, advertising is rebounding and that will attract investor attention."
comments powered by Disqus