On Thursday the company agreed to buy the 32% of Ticketmaster it does not already own. Analyst Katherine Styponias says the deal is slightly dilutive to USA; she thinks this is because USA's shares are undervalued, not because USA paid too much. Styponias notes management said it is halting buying back public shares of Hotels.com and Expedia. Styponias says this removes a major overhang on the stock from a higher premium being paid on both companies. She notes management, as suspected, indicated Home Shopping Network is having a weak quarter, but she still expects strong EBITDA growth.
Styponias upped her $0.09 2002 earnings per share estimate to $0.14, and cut the $0.42 2003 estimate to $0.41 to reflect the Ticketmaster deal. She has a $30 target.