Starz Has Strong Debut


Liberty Starz, the publicly traded entity that includes Starz Entertainment and other former Liberty Media businesses, made its debut on the Nasdaq Global Market System Friday under the symbol "LSTZA," opening at $49.50 per share, or $1.66 more than its when-issued closing price of $47.84 on Nov. 19.

Liberty Starz was created after the spin-off of Liberty Entertainment on Thursday and includes the premium service Starz, as well as satellite high-speed data service WildBlue Communications and online services PicksPal, Fanball, FUN Technologies and about $650 million in cash. Starz management has said that they expect the premium channel to report 5% to 10% cash flow growth and revenue growth of between 3% and 4% in 2010.
The stock began trading on a when-issued basis on Nov. 5 and prices ranged from $50.10 to $46.10 per share.
After its robust debut, Liberty Starz' share price slipped a bit to $48.50 per share in early morning trading, up about 1.4% or 66 cents each. But even at that lower price, Liberty Starz has a market capitalization of about $2.4 billion, more than 20% higher than the $1.96 billion valuation the company had said some analysts had placed on the stock.