Viacom Shares Fall on Analyst Report

Citi’s Bazinet says salad days over, and stock falls 5%

Viacom stock took a hit Monday (Oct. 9) after Citigroup media analyst Jason Bazinet slapped a “sell” rating on the stock, adding that carriage problems for the programmer will continue.

According to reports, in a note to clients Monday, Bazinet reduced his rating on the stock, adding that he believes the programmer will face “acute” headwinds in its upcoming carriage negotiations with Charter Communications.

In his note, Bazinet predicts that Charter will either drop or “significantly curtail” its carriage of Viacom channels.

Viacom shares traded as low as $25.37 in early trading Oct. 9, down 6.6% or $1.78 each. The shares were priced at $25.62 each, down $1.53 each (5.6%) later in the morning.

Viacom owns about two dozen networks, including MTV Networks, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, and the recently renamed Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV). In February, Viacom announced a plan to focus on six core channels (MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Comedy Central, BET and Paramount).

Read more at multichannel.com.