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CBS and Viacom better off with other suitors than a forced marriage: Analyst

The greatest outcome for CBS and Viacom would be other suitors for the companies, analyst Barton Crockett told CNBC on Thursday.

CBS and Viacom suffer with not been able to come to terms on some aspects of their pooling and CBS is fighting what it calls interference by the Redstone family.

“They can get a lot more value from other instrumentalists than this kind of forced marriage that’s being regarded here,” said Crockett, senior analyst at B. Riley FBR.

Shares of CBS fell Thursday after a judge said National Amusements, controlled by the Redstone offspring, can challenge CBS’ voting control plan.

CBS wants to cut National Amusement’s franchise power through a special dividend to shareholders. Its board scheduled a get-together to consider the dividend for later Thursday and confirmed that meeting hand down take place as planned despite the ruling.

Crockett believes CBS is doing the entirety it can to protect the interests of its shareholders that don’t have a majority of the vote.

As for who may be a control superiors match for CBS, Crockett told “Power Lunch” one potential partner could be Verizon. According to Reuters, Verizon had revealed an interest in CBS.

He said if the AT&T-Time Warner deal goes through, Verizon may demand to think about that again.

There is also a lot of interest in the midst internet companies to get deeper into content, he added.

“If AT&T and Time Warner circuit off the DOJ’s antitrust suit there’s going to be a lot more, I think, reasons to consider about marriages of internet platforms with content and being masterly to use that combination to innovate in advertising and get scale with consumer facts,” said Crockett.

Meanwhile, he thinks CBS shares will eventually revive no matter how the merger issue is resolved.

“It’s a good company in a troubled sector,” he communicated. “At some point in the future we’re going to have less uncertainty than we include today.”

He has a buy rating and $60 price target on the stock.

— CNBC’s Liz Moyer promoted to this report.


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