The value of the Knicks basketball franchise is surging, according to a top Wall Street firm.
JPMorgan reaffirmed his overweight rating and raised its price target for Madison Square Garden shares to $260 from $245, citing a higher estimate for the Knicks worth.
"We estimate MSG shares trade at ~40% discount to the private market value of its assets," analyst David Karnovsky wrote in a note to clients Friday. "We expect the value of those assets, in particular the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, to rise, driven by higher team revenues and a favorable supply/demand dynamic for professional sports franchises."
MSG shares are up 33.5 percent year to date through Friday compared to the S&P 500's 15.6 percent return. The company's stock closed at $228.90 on Friday.
Karnovsky noted how the Houston Rockets sold for $2.2 billion or a 33 percent premium to the Forbes' value estimate. In addition, 49 percent of the Brooklyn Nets sold for a $2.3 billion valuation or a 28 percent premium to Forbes' estimate.
As a result, the analyst is increasing his appraisal for the New York Knicks value to $3.7 billion from $3.3 billion, the current Forbes' estimate.
The price target "increase is driven by a higher estimated value for the New York Knicks," he wrote.
Madison Square Garden Company owns multiple sports franchises including the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers and the New York Liberty. The company also produces live entertainment in a number of venues such as New York's Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.
The New York Knicks have outperformed low expectations this year with a 5-4 winning record and breakout performances from Kristaps Porzingis. The budding star is averaging more than 30 points per game.