Analyst: Buy AOL; Sell Disney, Fox


Fulcrum Global Partners analyst Richard Greenfield initiated coverage of the media sector, slapping "buy" ratings on AOL Time Warner Inc. and News Corp., but recommending that investors sell shares of The Walt Disney Co. and Fox Entertainment Group Inc.

Greenfield called AOL "the best value opportunity in the sector," and News Corp. warranted its rating because of its pending merger with Hughes Electronics Corp. Fox earned its "sell" rating mainly because it will assume the bulk of debt in the Hughes deal.

Disney has the weakest business mix within the entertainment sector, because of its exposure to the theme parks business and consumer products. It also has a relatively high valuation, trading at 24 times estimated 2004 earnings per share.