UBS analyst downgrades CBS shares

AP News
Posted: Dec 15, 2009 1:36 PM

A UBS analyst downgraded shares of CBS Corp. Tuesday, saying the stock price now takes into account expectations that next year's advertising environment will be healthier than this year's.

In a client note, analyst Michael Morris lowered his rating to "Neutral" from "Buy" and increased his price target by $1 to $15.

Morris said that besides being fairly valued, the shares are currently "balanced between the potential for earnings outperformance and the risk of ad sales weakness and/or higher costs."

The analyst said that television advertising is poised to improve next year, and that checks showed demand for such ads was "very strong" in the fourth quarter.

Still, the stock's current valuation doesn't leave much room for the possibility of disappointment in the ad market, he said.

"A declining core broadcast TV audience and competition for local ads are still longer-term concerns," he said.

CBS shares rose 16 cents to $14.21.