Time to touch that dial, according to Lehman Brothers.
With radio stocks up 26% since mid-April but growth expectations falling, it's time for broadcasting investors to take a breather, according to a note issued today by Lehman media analyst William Meyers.
Over the past six weeks, a basket of radio stocks has gone from trading at 13.8 times estimated 2001 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to a 16 multiple, Meyers says, giving the sector little chance for upside in the near future.
Taking into account April advertising sales statistics due to be released from a radio industry trade group, as well as dim post-June visibility, Meyers is cutting his 2001 ad growth forecast from a range of 2% to 2.5% down to a range of 1% to 2%. By comparison, Meyers is expecting 7% to 8% growth from 2001 to 2002.
The note, which Meyers terms a "trading call" based on current visibility and expectations, doesn't reflect any change to his long-term view of the sector.
Despite the caution, Meyers says he's most bullish on
Clear Channel Communications
, on which he has a $70-$75 price target and which he says is worth buying aggressively in the $57 area. Clear Channel was trading at $60.90 on Thursday afternoon, down 10 cents. Meyers has a strong buy rating on Clear Channel, for which his firm hasn't done underwriting.
Other stocks in Meyers' radio basket include
Spanish Broadcasting System