Digest: Lionsgate lifted by 'Saw III'


Lionsgate shares edged up minimally Monday as at least one analyst said the strong boxoffice showing of "Saw III" should bode well for the company's fiscal-year financial performance. Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Thomas Eagan said the film is "likely to hit $85 million-$90 million total," making the firm "more likely to increase its fiscal-year 2007 ... free cash flow guidance" of $85 million. Lionsgate shares rose 0.3% on Monday to $10.09. During the past year, the stock has traded between $7.47-$10.52.

Verizon Q3 profit up
Telecom giant Verizon Communications posted a larger-than-expected third-quarter profit increase, but shares were under pressure as investors expressed concern about higher costs from a risky push into video services. Verizon said its FiOS video and related services rollout has so far been more costly than expected thanks in part to higher-than-projected cable programming content and customer acquisition costs. As a result, FiOS will reduce Verizon's 2006 per-share profit by an additional 2 cents, the company said. It added a net of 63,000 FiOS TV customers in the third quarter to reach 118,000. Penetration of the service now stands at 10% across all markets, and it was available to 1.2 million as of the end of the quarter, Verizon said.

Yahoo! earns upgrade
Merrill Lynch analyst Juston Post on Monday upgraded shares of Yahoo! Inc. from "neutral" to "buy," citing the stock's big decline this year. "Down 35% year-to-date, Yahoo! is at an attractive entry point entering a seasonally strong holiday period and in-front of a two-year search monetization upgrade cycle," he wrote in a report. Post's 12-month price target on the stock is $32. Yahoo! shares closed up 2.4% on Monday at $25.95. During the past 52 weeks, it has traded between $22.65-$43.66.