Share of ViacomCBS Inc. (VIAC) surged 1.8% toward in midday trading Monday, putting them on track to post the 12th record close in March, after Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos raised his price target on the media company by 50% to $120 and reiterated his buy rating. Kurnos noted that the stock has continued its "torrid" rally despite multiple downgrades by other analysts. No less than six analysts have downgraded ViacomCBS this month, with four of them moving to bearish ratings, according to FactSet, leaving just 4 of 29 analysts surveyed by FactSet being bullish. At the same time, the stock has rocketed 53.6% month to date, to pace all of its communication services peers (XLC), and compared with the S&P 500's March gain of 3.5%. "We believe the stock's resiliency can be attributed to their hybrid approach, which not only covers the streaming side but the company fundamentals as well; the long-forgotten cash flow metric seems to have finally made a return," Kurnos wrote in a note to clients. He said while the risk/reward profile is less compelling at current prices, he believes the stock can continue to "leak higher" as Wall Street's near- and longer-term estimates are too low, especially given the "misinformation circulating around the recent NFL re-up," the impact of stimulus on streaming and video ads and as critics "who seemingly want to see [ViacomCBS] fail have created a negative streaming narrative" just weeks after the launch of subscription service Paramout+. Kurnos noted that ViacomCBS has yet to miss a subscriptions target, "and do not expect that trend to start changing now."
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 22, 2021 12:31 ET (16:31 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.