NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Time Warner (TWX) were slipping in pre-market trading on Monday as AT&T (T) late Saturday agreed to purchase the media company for $85.4 billion, or $107.50 per share.
The cash-and-stock deal was approved by the boards of both AT&T and Time Warner.
The merger is expected to shake up the current media landscape, but may face opposition from U.S. antitrust regulators, lawmakers and rivals.
Regulators are likely to focus on whether AT&T would favor Time Warner content, if the deal would lead to higher prices or if it would limit competition.
MKM Partners subsequently downgraded Time Warner's stock to "neutral" from "buy," noting that gaining regulatory approval could be a "difficult process."
"Approval is not a certainty and could very well get denied," the firm said in an analyst note. "There is the prospect of another company getting involved but we do not expect a major bidding war to evolve."
Evercore also lowered its rating on Time Warner stock to "neutral" from "buy," but raised its price target to $95 from $90.
The firm sees a "heavy" and delayed regulatory review process ahead and gives the deal a 40% to 50% chance of closing, TheFly noted. The review will likely take at least 12 to 14 months, Evercore added.
Additionally, Credit Suisse reduced Time Warner's stock rating to "neutral" from "outperform, while Goldman Sachs removed Time Warner stock from its "Conviction Buy" list and cut its rating to "neutral."
Time Warner's stock rating was also lowered to "neutral" from "outperform" at Macquarie this morning.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
The team rates Time Warner as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. The team feels its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: TWX