Digest: Analyst upgrades Liberty stock
EmptyCitigroup analyst Jason Bazinet on Tuesday upgraded shares of John Malone's Liberty Capital from "hold" to "buy," citing the potential swap of the firm's stake in News Corp. for that conglomerate's stake in satellite TV giant DirecTV Group. He also predicted that "Liberty will further exchange its stakes in Time Warner, CBS and Viacom for assets that fit in strategically with DirecTV." Bazinet has a $102 price target on shares of Liberty Capital.
Napster in Japan
Napster Inc. said Tuesday that it has launched an online song distribution site in Japan. The move challenges Apple Computer and popular music phones in the Japanese market. Napster Japan, a joint venture with Tower Records Japan, will offer a service that lets members listen to and download an unlimited number of songs from its database of 1.5 million selections for ?1,980 ($16.80) a month. Napster recently said it was exploring its alternatives, including a sale.
The chairman and former CEO of media firm Meredith Corp. sold his common stock back to the company for $2.3 million immediately after leaving his executive post last week. Chairman William Kerr, who retired as CEO on Sept. 28, sold back the shares at an average trading price of $49.40 each, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.
Radio station operator Beasley Broadcast Group said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire a radio station in Wilmington, Del., from NextMedia Group Inc. for about $42 million. The purchase of WJBR-FM 99.5 Mhz is expected to close in first-quarter 2007. Beasley already started operating the station under a local marketing agreement as of Sunday.