NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Viacom (VIAB) - Get Report  were rising in early-afternoon trading on Wednesday as National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of the media company and CBS (CBS), is expected to call on the two companies to explore a merger, Reuters reports, citing sources.  

National Amusements is a privately held Dedham, MA-based theater company owned by Sumner and Shari Redstone. The company has a nearly 80% stake in Viacom and CBS. 

Viacom acquired the New York City-based media company in 2000 but CBS split in 2006. 

National Amusements could contact the two companies as early as this week to explore a merger, Reuters added. 

Shares of CBS were higher in early-afternoon trading on Wednesday. 

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. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

TheStreet Ratings team rates Viacom as a Hold with a ratings score of C. The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, the team also finds weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, unimpressive growth in net income and generally higher debt management risk.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: VIAB

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