DreamWorks Animation shares hit high

Stocks rise after 'neutral' to 'buy' upgrade

NEW YORK -- Shares of DreamWorks Animation hit an all-time high Thursday after UBS upgraded the stock from "neutral" to "buy," citing a strong film slate this year.

UBS analyst Michael Morris boosted his price target on the stock from $34 to $50. "We see 23% upside given strong pipeline, better cost discipline," he said in a report. "DWA is a unique media investment at the start of a strong content cycle with no exposure to advertising volatility.

Demand for films has been unbowed by consumer weakness ("Avatar," for example), and DWA's slate has it well positioned to capitalize in 2010."

Morris said he has screened 2010 releases "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Shrek 4" and thinks "they both look like winners."

In early Thursday trading, DWA shares went as high as $42.98, their highest mark in 52 weeks and in the stock's history since its IPO in late 2004. As of 11:50 a.m. ET, the stock was up 2.7% to $41.67.