Thomas Weisel Lowers TiVo to 'Underperform'

Analyst Gordon Hodge voices concern that the digital-video recorder hasn't yet signed a cable deal to penetrate the cable market

Thomas Weisel downgraded TiVo (TIVO ) to underperform from peer perform.

Analyst Gordon Hodge says the downgrade of the digital-video recorder is based on concerns about a relationship between TiVo and DirecTV, pending General Electric's Hughes Electronics' (the parent of DirecTV) merger with News Corp., plus concerns that TiVo hasn't yet signed a licensing deal with a cable multiple system operator (MSO) to penetrate the cable-subscriber market.

Hodge thinks Thursday's stock weakness may be related to a September 22 letter to the FCC, issued by News Corp., that relates to the Hughes merger. He thinks the letter raises his chief concerns for the stock: that TiVo hasn't yet signed a cable deal, and that and a long-term relationship with DirecTV could be in jeopardy if News Corp. begins making and marketing its own digital-video recorders within two years.

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