NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Starz (STRZA) are up 4,80% to $31 in pre-market trade after it was reported that executives with Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and Starz met yesterday to discuss a possible acquisition of the premium cable movie service, a deal that could expand Murdoch's reach into homes across the country, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Starz CEO Chris Albrecht and investment bankers held the discussion with Fox executives at the company's studio lot in Los Angeles, sources told the Times.
There's no deal yet, and none may materialize, sources added. A full acquisition of the company could be valued at more than $3.2 billion based on its share price of $29.58 Tuesday. Fox could also decide to take an ownership stake instead of buying Starz outright, the Times added.
TheStreet Ratings team rates STARZ as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate STARZ (STRZA) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our 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 increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk and weak operating cash flow."