Markets & Finance

Robbie Stephens Hikes RealNetworks Rating

Robertson Stephens upgraded its investment rating on shares of RealNetworks (RNWK) to buy from market perform.

Analyst Aleksandar Sasa Zorovic says he is increasingly confident that the RealOne subscriber base may increase to 1 million users by the end of the year. He believes the product's premium content -- and its appeal to a broad demographic spectrum -- are the primary drivers for this growth. The analyst says RealOne increases the predictability and visibility of the company's revenue, and makes its success less dependent on its successful competition vs. Microsoft. He raised his $0.06 2002 EPS estimate to $0.08 and set a $0.25 2003 EPS estimate. He also raised his 7% 2002 return on invested capital estimate to 13%, and his $7 price target on the stock to $10.

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