TiVo‘s stock led the media pack yesterday, up nearly 4% after it announced that it will collect $250M from Verizon to settle their patent infringement dispute. And today it’s still on top, up about 3% to $10.25 in early trading. Lazard Capital Markets’ Barton Crockett helped this morning by upgrading his recommendation on TiVo stock to “buy” from “neutral” with a target price of $14. That’s a bit of a surprise: Yesterday, Crockett said that the Verizon settlement was “close to our expectations” and “not a sea-change.” But this morning he says that “upon further analysis” he concluded that the terms with Verizon make him “more optimistic” that TiVo will negotiate another settlement in its patent infringement case against Google’s Motorola Mobility, scheduled to go to trial this spring. “Google is seen by many as potentially a seller of Motorola Mobility,” Crockett says. “Settling the TiVo suit could make a Motorola sale much easier.” Brean Murray Carrett & Co analyst Todd Mitchell also says that the Verizon deal bodes well for the DVR pioneer. There’s a “high likelihood” the Motorola suit will be settled before trial because the business “cannot be priced with the overhang,” he says this morning. Cisco also might be motivated to resolve its differences with TiVo: If it doesn’t, then it would be “at a disadvantage pitching its home gateway business” from its recent acquisition of software company NDS, he says.
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