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Viacom (VIA.B ): Reiterates 5 STARS (buy)
Analyst: Tuna Amobi, CPA, CFA

The CEO, at an industry conference, repeated his 2004 view as the best year in Viacom's history, with momentum building at cable, network, and local businesses. S&P sees 7.5% 2004 revenue and 15% operating income growth, a bit higher than the guidance of 5% to 7% revenue growth and 12% to 14% operating income growth. Perhaps in recognition of the changing landscape, the CEO also broached the possibility of a cable system acquisition, previously dismissed by Viacom. Also, EchoStar dropped Viacom's national channels and CBS-owned and operated stations, but talks should continue. S&P's discounted cash-flow-based 12-month target price is $50.
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