STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-ITV higher after update; Numis upgrades

Thu Nov 5, 2009 10:06am GMT

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Shares in ITV (ITV.L) jump 7.6 percent after Britain's biggest commercial free-to-air broadcaster issues an upbeat interim management statement, prompting Numis Securities to raise its rating to "buy" from "hold.

ITV says its net advertising revenues (NAR) are expected to rise 4 percent in December, with NAR flat for the quarter. Over the full year, total UK NAR is forecast to be down 12 percent.

Numis, in a note, points out that this full-year NAR decline compares with its current forecast of a 14 percent fall.

The broker says the strong relative performance of ITV combined with evidence of more encouraging advertising outlook leads it to move its 2010 NAR estimate to flat from down 5 percent.

Numis says it expects to raise its 2009 EPS pretax profit estimate for ITV to 75 million pounds, up from 65 million pounds, and its 2010 estimate to 150 million pounds from 80 million pounds.

The broker also ups its 2011 pretax profit forecast to 250 million pounds from 175 million pounds as the firm will see the full benefit then.

Numis raises its target price for ITV to 61 pence from 58 pence.

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