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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bonehead Analyst Call: Clear Channel (CCU)

It is always nice to see an analyst who will go out on a limb to get ahead of the market. Barrington Research cut Clear Channel, the huge radio company, to “market perform”. Before that the stock was rated “outperform”. Barrington had last upgraded the stock in April 2005.

For some reason the analyst at Barrington waited until after the company said it would look at going private. And, after the company reported quarterly earnings. The stock hit a “rumor” peak and then settled back.

Being a bright fellow, the analyst waited for the stock to hit $35.55 on October 26, and then drop to $33.90 yesterday. That really isn’t “outperforming” anymore, is it?

To make matters worse, when Barrington rated the stock “outperform” in April of last year, the stock was at about $35. It promptly fell to below $30 and has not recovered until this last week. Real magic.

Barrington may want to look into getting a new radio analyst, or just dropping coverage of the industry altogether.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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