Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett Friday upgraded Dish Network shares to a “market perform” rating, although he warned that if a judge forces the satellite provider to shut down 4 million set-tops as the result of a TiVo judgment it “could be crippling for the company.”
Dish shares were down 90 cents, or 6%, to $15.19 in early Friday trading.
“Over the past six weeks, Dish shares have dropped by over 40%,” Moffett wrote in a report Friday. “But as Dish shares have tumbled, key risks have evaporated. Our underperform thesis was premised on risks that subscriber growth could turn negative, and that AT&T's support looked wobbly. Both risks have now been resolved (unfortunately, the wrong way) but now are finally fully priced in. And most importantly, the constant, incessant assumption that AT&T was an ‘inevitable’ acquirer of Dish has finally, at long last, been put to rest.”