RBC Capital Markets analyst David Bank makes a gutsy call this morning by designating CBS his “top pick” stock. Shares are already trading high: CBS closed yesterday at $31.33, right around its 52-week peak and close to its top price in pre-recession 2007. Yet Bank says he expects CBS to hit $38.00 — with earnings per share this year of $2.85, a projection that’s well above the consensus estimate of $2.34. Bank acknowledges that “accurately modeling CBS is difficult” as entertainment companies struggle to adjust to the digital revolution. Still, he says that the company has room to grow. Bank forecasts that in 2013 syndication deals for NCIS: Los Angeles and Hawaii Five-0 — and “likely” The Good Wife and Blue Bloods — will generate $295M, an 84% increase from the syndication revenue expected this year. The analyst also believes CBS next year will generate $240M in revenues from streaming services, $272M from retransmission consent or reverse compensation payments from local TV, and $220M from the Super Bowl. That could boost revenues 7.2% to $8.35B in 2013.
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