money digest


WMG declines amid analyst talk

Shares of Warner Music Group fell 4.4% on Monday after two bearish analyst reports. Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield reduced his 2007 music industry outlook citing recent sluggishness in physical CD sales and downgraded WMG shares to "sell" with an $18.50 price target. Goldman Sachs analyst Anthony Noto also cut some of his financial forecasts for WMG and brought down his price target $3 to $25. "Our lowered estimates reflect greater than expected physical music declines that are not offset by digital growth," Noto wrote in a note to investors. WMG shares closed at $20.88. During the past year, they have traded at $19.71-$31.

Vivendi looks to improve on '06

French media and telecommunications group Vivendi expects its 2007 adjusted profit to be at least equal to 2006 levels despite some exceptional charges, CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said Monday in an interview with newspaper Les Echos. "In 2007, our adjusted net profit will be at least equal to that of 2006, that is to say at least €2.6 billion or the best performance ever registered by Vivendi," the newspaper quoted him as saying. Levy said Vivendi will book exceptional charges of €350 million ($455.7 million) following the acquisition of TPS by its Canal Plus pay TV unit. He said the charges would mainly be booked in its 2006 and 2007 financial years with some added charges to be taken in 2008.