NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Madison Square Garden (MSG) are climbing after former Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer reportedly agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, a National Basketball Association franchise, for $2B and the New York Rangers made the finals of the National Hockey League playoffs. Madison Square Garden owns the Rangers and another NBA franchise, the New York Knicks.
WHAT'S NEW: Ballmer has agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2B, numerous media outlets reported today. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers last night beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 to advance to the NHL's Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 20 years.
ANALYST REACTION: In a note to investors earlier today, research firm Albert Fried wrote that the Rangers' success is important because it enhances Madison Square Garden's reputation. MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan has been a scapegoat for poor performances by the Knicks over the years, but the Rangers' run shows that a team controlled by Dolan can do well, Albert Fried wrote. The Rangers' success may enhance the Knicks' recruitment efforts, added Albert Fried. Meanwhile, the Knicks are inherently worth 40%-50% more than the Clippers, according to the firm. Furthermore, MSG owns numerous other assets in addition to the Knicks and Rangers, and MSG's stock is trading about 50% below the value of the company's hard assets, Albert Fried contended. The firm kept an $85 price target and Overweight rating on the stock.
PRICE ACTION: Near noon, MSG rose 3% to $54.67.
Reporting by Larry Ramer.