Bear Stearns keeps peer perform on Liberty Media (L ).
Analyst Gloria Radeff says the purchase of a remaining stake in cable-channel retailer QVC removes the uncertainty surrounding the QVC sale, and strengthens Liberty's position as an operating company. She notes Liberty will fund the purchase with minimal cash. She believes the maximum amount of debt taken on will be $6.2 billion, which would increase Liberty's estimated yearend leverage from below 2.0 times to 3.9 times to 4.6 times the 2003 EBITDA, which she says is a manageable level.
Radeff says the shift to controlling a sizable asset could reduce the discount to the net asset value of Liberty shares. She thinks the QVC deal leaves Liberty with enough liquidity to pursue the assets of Vivendi Universal.