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Arguing that it is "increasingly apparent that cable and DBS are both TV-centric services before they are platforms for additional offerings," Merrill Lynch analyst Marc Nabi provided cheer for the prospects of EchoStar Communications in a note released yesterday.

Cable's bundled offerings, with broadband/Internet services designed to deter DBS growth, have not panned out as expected, Nabi noted. "Many cable industry spectators have continually reduced their data service forecasts" thanks to subscriber disenchantment with "rate hikes and poor customer service," he said.

With cable's data poison pill thus rendered less than lethal plus EchoStar's relatively strong debt/EBITDA ratio and the company's success at reducing churn, Nabi forecasts a stock price of $33 - about 32 percent over its recent 24 to 26 range. Said Nabi: "EchoStar remains our favorite name and is our only U.S.-listed stock carrying an intermediate-term 'strong buy' recommendation."

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 
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