WSJ: Arb Stock Hot Ahead Of Q1 Report
April 15, 2009 at 4:50 AM (PT)
Shares of ARBITRON INC. rose nearly 6% TUESDAY, writes THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, "which analysts said is likely due to hopeful investors buying ahead of the company's first-quarter earnings report next week and an expected partial contract renewal with its largest customer. 'Investors are getting more optimistic,' SIDOTI analyst CHRISTOPHER WALLING told DOW JONES NEWSWIRES. Analysts expect ARBITRON to report solid top-line growth in the low double-digits, although earnings are projected to fall about 12%, according to THOMSON REUTERS, amid cost-realignment charges."
"As for the expected partial contract renewal, which is with CLEAR CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, it is 'highly likely to occur and would lift an overhang which could cause shares to rise,' CJS SECURITIES analyst ROBERT LABICK wrote in a MONDAY note to clients. LABICK expects the result of the negotiations will be announced later this month.
"ARBITRON's stock has climbed 20% so far this month and 36% for the year to date amid anticipation for the renewal and excitement over the launch of the PORTABLE PEOPLE METER. Shares of ARBITRON were up 5.5% recently to $17.94. Earlier, they hit an intraday high of $18.17, their highest point since NOVEMBER but a far cry from the 52-week high of $51.50.
"If the company provides insight next week with its earnings report into the current contract negotiations with CLEAR CHANNEL or progress on accreditations by the MEDIA RATING COUNCIL, it would ease investors' concerns," SIDOTI's WALLING said.