Robertson Stephens Ups Viacom to 'Buy'

Analyst Lowell Singer thinks risks, including concerns about asbestos liabilities, already are factored into the stock price

Robertson Stephens upgraded Viacom (VIA.B ) to buy and raised the target to $46.

Analyst Lowell Singer says investors with a 12-month horizon should view recent weakness in stock as attractive buying opportunity. He remains cognizant of the stock's risks including potential further volatility due to asbestos exposure, and the possibility that COO Mel Karmazin could depart between now and May 2003, as well as the likelihood for Q1 2002 year-over-year revenue and EBITDA declines. However, he believes concerns are largely priced into the stock, that ads could rebound before the end of Karmazin's contract, and that the company remains the most attractive way for investors to be positioned for this recovery.

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