MSG Shareholders Win Big With Rangers, Knicks: Chart of the Day

Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG)’s shareholders are winners regardless of how the New York Rangers fare in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference finals.

The CHART OF THE DAY compares the performance of MSG with Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC), its former owner, and the Bloomberg Americas Entertainment Index since the company was spun off in February 2010.

Shares of MSG more than doubled after the split as Cablevision, the fifth-largest U.S. cable-television provider by subscribers, dropped 21 percent. MSG, based in New York, had the second-biggest gain among 24 stocks in the Bloomberg index. Only Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF) rose more.

MSG’s sports unit includes the Rangers, who beat the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of the conference finals and will play Game 2 today, and the New York Knicks. The National Basketball Association team made the league’s playoffs and won its first postseason game since 2001.

“Traditionally, this segment was seen as a wild card,” Benjamin Mogil, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., wrote in a May 7 report. The unit is now poised to generate cash regularly, he wrote, as the company finishes a $980 million renovation of its namesake arena.

Mogil, based in Toronto, raised his MSG rating to buy from hold on the day of the report. He predicted the stock will rise to $45 within 12 months. The projection tied him with Albert Fried & Co.’s Richard Tullo for the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

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