We’ve seen some real tear jerkers in our day but this story looks unusually sad.
On Monday Lehman Brothers analyst Anthony DiClemente cut the stock ratings on Disney, Time Warner, and other media giants fearing the television and film industry could soon face the same challenges as the music business.
“We think the pain's not over,” says DiClemente on Fast Money. “We think the cycle is going to get worse and that it’s going to impact the ’09 numbers. We’re cautious on big media. We think the national advertising cycle get worse.”
DiClemente cites specific trouble spots at each of the companies.
Disney must contend with 1) economic problems that could hurt theme park results, 2) an ABC TV network that faces head winds and 3) a stock price that is already at a premium to its peers. He cut Disney to an "underweight" rating with a $29 price target.
News Corp faces exposure to a depressed newspaper business and its Fox TV network remains challenged and acquisition risk is a major concern, he said. It was cut to "equal weight" rating with a $15 price target.
Time Warner's additional problems include concerns about future capital allocation of a special dividend from Time Warner Cable, plans for its Time Inc unit and questions about AOL. DiClemente cut the rating to "equal weight" with a $14 target.
He cut CBS to "underweight" and a $16 target because of added concerns about CBS Radio, structural and cyclical weakness at the CBS TV network and acquisition risk related to its purchase of CNET.
While Viacom's price target was cut to $32 a share, it maintained its "equal weight" rating because of the possibility of incremental contributions from the "Rock Band" video game, international expansion and the likelihood affiliate fees will provide some stability.
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Trader disclosure: On July 28, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (HAS), (DIS), (WMT), (ATVID), (MSFT); Adami Owns (BTU), (C), (AGU), (GS), (MSFT), (NUE); Finerman Owns (GS); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (SUN), (TSO), (VLO); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C), (C) Leaps; Finerman's Firm Is Short (BBT), (XLF), (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (IWM), (SPY); Finerman's Firm And Finerman Own (C), (C) Leaps; Najarian Owns (CSCO) Calls, (YHOO) Calls, (SKF) Calls, (WLT) Calls; Najarian Owns (TSO) And Is Short (TSO) Calls; Najarian Owns (AAPL) And (AAPL) Puts; Najarian Owns (XLF) Puts
Lehman Brothers And/Or Affiliate Has Received Investment Banking Compensation from (DIS), (CBS), (TWX), News Corp., Viacom In Past 12 Mos.;Lehman Brothers Has Received Non-Investment Banking Compensaion from (DIS), (TWX), (CBS) In Last 12 Mos.: (DIS), (TWX), (CBS), News Corp., Viacom Are Or In Past 12 Months Have Been Investment Banking Clients Of Lehman Brothers And/Or Affiliate: (DIS), (TWX), (CBS) Are Or In Last 12 Months Have Ben Non-Investment Banking Clients (Securities-Related Services) Of Lehman Brothers