Wall Street observers try to predict fallout
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/29/2012 -- With no settlement in sight, a long-running feud between satellite television company Dish Network and the cable firm AMC Networks is headed to court Wednesday. That has Wall Street analysts trying to guess how much each media company stands to lose.
At the root of the dispute is satellite television company Voom. A Dish predecessor bought Voom, but has argued that promised investment since has failed to materialize and quit carrying Voom channels. The future carriage of the AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE channels is at stake.
AMC is seeking $2.5 billion in damages plus interest of $1 billion. The court case is expected to take four-to-six weeks.
Wall Street observers had expected a settlement. They now are trying to predict how many subscribers may leave Dish and how much AMC might lose in carriage fees.
Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne estimated a loss of Dish carriage at $15-$20 a share. “Despite recent share underperformance, risk-reward still appears unfavorable,” he said. Current stock market prices are factoring in Dish carriage loss, he added.
But Susquehanna International Group analyst Vasily Karasyov held out hope for a deal between the two sides, maintaining his price target of $51 and his rating of “positive” for AMC. “We see a reasonable likelihood of a global settlement between Dish and Voom, which would include a renewed carriage agreement for AMC channels,” he said.
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