CBS Shares Fly High After Investor Event

The stock price on Friday hit levels last seen in 2008 as some analysts issued bullish reports following an investor gathering.

NEW YORK - Shares of CBS Corp. on Friday hit a 52-week high and their highest levels since May 2008 amid optimistic comments from analysts following a bullish investor gathering organized by the company Thursday afternoon.

During its "Upfront for Investors," management outlined the potential financial impact of emerging businesses.

CBS shares closed up 6.9 percent at $23.54 after earlier in the day going as high as $23.65.

Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne on Friday added CBS shares, which he rates "overweight" (or as other firms may call it - "buy"), with a $27 target price, to his firm's "best ideas list" for stocks with upside and raised his financial estimates for 2011 and 2012.
"While we have been recommending CBS since mid '09, we continue to see over 20 percent upside to our base case and 55 percent upside to our bull case," Swinburne said in a note to investors.

He lauded a move away from the firm's reliance on advertising revenue and towards more diversified revenue streams. "Consensus estimates have moved higher, however, we think as the market gains confidence in the achievability of these estimates as well as the higher earnings quality (less cyclical, more recurring), we can see multiple expansion," he said. His bull case sees the stock rising to $34, which, as he noted, "would simply return [the] CBS share price to its prior 2007 peak level."

Evercore Partners analyst Alan Gould raised his price target on CBS from $22.50 to $24 and also boosted his finacial forecast. While he maintained his equal-weight, or neutral, rating on the stock, he lauded the firm's "upbeat management presentation."

UBS analyst John Janedis echoed that in a report that highlighted the "positive tone" of the investor event.
"Upside exists to our [and Wall] Street estimates for 2012, he said.

Janedis pushed up his price target for CBS by $1 to $26.