Analyst Eyes ValueVision

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Influential Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. media analyst Richard Bilotti initiated coverage on ValueVision International Inc. last week with a "strong buy" rating and a 12-month price target of $40. Bilotti's recommendation inspired a mild frenzy in ValueVision trades: on Aug. 1 the stock opened at $15.56, rose as high as $19 and closed at $16.88. More than 1.4 million shares were traded, triple the average daily volume. Bilotti cited ValueVision's alliance with NBC and its focus on vendor programming, which he called a "simple but powerful tool for building traffic on e-commerce and traditional retailing platforms."

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