money digest


Analyst high on Time WarnerMerrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen on Tuesday raised her price target for shares of Time Warner Inc. from $23 to $27, providing upside of 21% from current levels. In a report, which reiterated her "buy" rating, she predicted a strong financial performance by the world's largest entertainment company this year thanks to strong cable momentum, cost cuts across the firm, an "improved film performance" and robust TV syndication. "We continue to believe that TW's recent breakout is the first leg in a potentially multiyear upswing after trading sideways for nearly three years," she said. TW closed down 0.6% at $22.23 after reaching a 52-week high of $22.50 in intraday trading.

THQ ends stock-option probeVideo game maker THQ Inc. said Tuesday that a probe into its stock-option grant practices found no evidence of fraud or misconduct. However, the committee charged with the investigation found instances of lacking documentation and cases in which THQ used incorrect measurement dates in its accounting and financial reporting. As a result, the company said it will record about $11 million in additional stock-based compensation for the period from Jan. 1, 1996-March 31, 2006.

Emmis cuts fiscal Q3 profitBroadcaster Emmis Communications reported a much-reduced fiscal third-quarter profit as the year-ago period included higher revenue and profits from discontinued operations. The company posted a profit of $3.1 million, including $4.4 million from discontinued operations and a $10 million debt-related charge, down from $200 million, including $198.1 million from discontinued businesses. Revenue fell 6.9% year-over-year to $91.2 million, with Emmis citing softness in the New York and Los Angeles markets. However, CEO Jeff Smulyan predicted "better results" for Emmis this year.