Bank of America raised its investment rating on Comcast ( CMCSA) and upped the price target, saying it expects the cable company to drop its buyout offer for Disney ( DIS) sometime soon.

"The timing is tough to guess, but we believe the company is waiting for a reason to walk away," the brokerage wrote. "Disney's pending board meeting (and possible subsequent announcement about succession); Comcast's earnings release; and Disney's earnings release could all provide the opportunity."

The most distant of those events is Disney's earnings, scheduled to be released a month from Monday.

Bank of America raised its price target to $41, citing favorable cable industry fundamentals and a valuation analysis that envisions a multiple of 20 times expected 2006 free cash flow. The shares were recently up 36 cents, or 1.2%, to $29.60 on the Instinet premarket session.

BofA previously downgraded Comcast to neutral and lowered the price target to $37 when word of its all-stock, hostile offer for Disney was announced.

If Comcast can disentangle from Disney, the brokerage argued, its prospects look good in light of improving free cash flow, historically low sector valuations, improving visibility for voice-over-Internet telephony, and easing competitive threats.

Banc of America Securities has an investment banking relationship with Comcast.

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