Cable Nets Feed Fox


Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. analyst Jessica Reif Cohen reiterated a "buy" rating on Fox Entertainment Group Inc. last week, but lowered earnings estimates. Cohen, who said recent price pressure on the stock could present a buying opportunity, cut her overall cash-flow estimate by $60 million, to $1.44 billion, citing sluggish ad trends. But she liked the prospects for Fox's cable networks. She said cash-flow growth would come from Fox Sports Net's competitive position relative to ESPN, accelerating ratings momentum for FX and Fox News Channel, and from new five-year carriage agreements with the likes of AT & T Broadband, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV Inc. Fox closed at $23.50 on Oct. 4, down $1.