CBS shares set a 52-week high

Morgan Stanley analyst rates stock as 'overweight'

NEW YORK -- Shares of CBS Corp. set a 52-week high Thursday after Morgan Stanley analyst Benjami Swinburne reiterated his "overweight" rating on the stock and said it is "still our top advertising play."

CBS shares hit a 52-week high of $15.18 intra-day before closing up 3.7% at $15.

Swinburne reiterated his bullishness on CBS, citing retransmission revenue, free cash flow generation and a continued rebound in advertising, particularly in local advertising, which leads him to earnings estimates above Wall Street consensus levels.

"CBS and its peers head into this year's upfront in a distinctly different position from last year with scatter pricing up in some cases 30% over last year's upfront," the analyst also said. "In addition, signs of economic healing and a recovering consumer may give advertisers greater confidence to buy in the upfront versus last year."

Swinburne predicts upfront ad pricing will be up mid to high-single digits for broadcasters over last year's upfront.
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