Bilotti Bullish Over Viacom


Morgan Stanley media analyst Rich Bilotti restated his "strong buy" rating on Viacom Inc. last week, after meeting the company's management. In a report, Bilotti said Viacom predicts it will report cash-flow growth of more than 10 percent in 2002, even in a flat advertising market. Viacom is holding firm on ad rates, Bilotti wrote, adding that CPMs for National Football League programming on CBS are up 5 percent, versus a decline of 9 percent to 11 percent for the competition. He said fourth-quarter primetime revenue could rise more than 10 percent. Bilotti also expects Viacom's cable networks to outperform peers in 2001 and 2002, increasing their share of the market from about 21.5 percent in 2000 to about 24 percent in 2002.