Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BSkyB Takes Tumble as Whispers Do the Rounds; Market Report

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

BSkyB Takes Tumble as Whispers Do the Rounds; Market Report

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL CLARK

NOT everyone it seems was caught out by talk of a proposed shake-up at satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

It was one of the biggest fallers in the top 100 today, losing 141/2p at 622p, having briefly touched 618p. It follows reports that 35% shareholder Rupert Murdoch wants to make changes that could result in the departure of chief executive Tony Ball. BSkyB has refused to comment.

The shares were a flat market last week as the first noises that something may be afoot were heard in the City. US securities house Morgan Stanley is said to have handled the business for one big institutional seller which is reckoned to have taken three days to unwind its position.

The shares have fallen from a peak of 724p since the start of August, partly undermined by the prospect of the EU launching an investigation into television soccer rights.

Share pr ices were squeezed higher in thin trading, the FTSE 100 index rising 9.5 points to 4270.4. Dealers were looking for opening gains in the Dow ahead of tonight's Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates.

Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP fell 51/2p to 5391/4p after broker Credit Suisse First Boston began coverage of the advertising group with a neutral rating and a 580p price target.

The Swiss broker said the group was its favourite pick in the sector, having started coverage of rivals Havas and Publicis with underperform ratings.

BT Group rose 33/4p to 189p. I hear US securities house Lehman Brothers is pushing the shares. It has upgraded them from underweight to equal weight and has set a price target of 220p, pinning its hopes on a gradual improvement in revenue trends.

Defence contractor Cobham rallied 10p to 12171/2p as it made another military acquisition in the US that will take its turnover in YOU CAN BUY AND SELL SHARES ONLINE FOR [pounds sterling]15 AT www.thisismoney.co.uk This is Money Share Dealing Limited is an appointed representative of The Share Centre Limited. …

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