Analysts Split Over Viacom's Future
Analysts appear divided over Viacom's prospects. With its deal with DirecTV still unresolved investors appeared to be taking a wait-and-see attitude toward the company. Shares in the company were down about 2 percent at midday in light trading. At TheStreet.com, analyst Rocco Pendola placed Viacom at the top of his list of "5 Stocks to Buy and Hold for True Value." He noted that all five "have drastically outperformed stocks you so often hear the word 'value' attached to." But today's (Wednesday) Hollywood Reporter noted that UBS analyst John Janedis has downgraded Viacom to "neutral" from "buy" due to falling ratings at Nickelodeon and MTV. He said that he expects the company will be forced to provide advertisers with "make goods," free ad time to make up for its failure to deliver a guaranteed number of viewers. "While the stock is cheap," he said, "we expect it to trade sideways" (i.e. neither up nor down).