Digest: Live Nation sings
EmptyShares of Live Nation Inc. rose Friday to after Credit Suisse started coverage of the stock with an "overweight" rating and a $28 price target. Analyst William Drewry said asset sales and new contracts are likely to boost profit margins and "could move the stock significantly higher during the next 12-18 months." Live Nation, the largest operator of concert venues and live events in the U.S., was spun off from radio station owner Clear Channel Communications last year. Drewry said the company is "evolving into a one-stop shop for musicians, live entertainers and concert audiences" and that the sale of some underperforming properties might be in store.
WPP Group adds
WPP Group Plc., the world's second-largest advertising company, said Friday that its Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide unit bought a 49% stake in China's Beijing Raynet Advertising for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2001 with offices in Beijing, Shenyang and Changchun, Raynet employs 131 people. It posted revenue of 37.2 million yuan ($4.8 million) in 2005, WPP said. Last month, WPP said it would buy 51% of China's Chengdu Apex Advertising for an undisclosed sum. That comes a month after four other acquisitions in Asia by WPP.
Oppenheimer analyst Thomas Eagan reiterated his bullish rating on Sirius Satellite Radio after CEO Mel Karmazin said the company might launch a video service by the end of next year (HR 12/1). Eagan said Sirius will be able to transmit live TV using its existing satellite and repeater infrastructure. "At first, the video service would likely consist of three or more children's channels," he wrote in a note to investors. "Advertising would likely be included." The analyst said Sirius' devices would be smaller and lighter than existing in-car TV systems.