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Bull Trader USA

Wells Fargo downgrades Paramount to underweight, sees shares declining more than 30% from here

It’s time to sell Paramount as it struggles with both its cable and streaming businesses, according to Wells Fargo. Analyst Steven Cahall downgraded shares of Paramount to underweight from equal weight, saying that his view on cable and streaming TV has worsened in the past few weeks. Cahall previously downgraded Paramount to equal weight earlier this month. “We’re downgrading PARA to Underweight as we can no longer justify its premium multiple amid our more negative view on linear trends and an uncertain DTC outlook,” Cahall wrote in a Monday note. “With both linear and DTC presenting challenges, PARA is likely to have negative revisions and tough decisions, which could include reconsidering sports rights or shifting strategy. On the strategy, we think PARA is better off as an arms dealer or considering content/streaming asset sales, but we do not view those as likely (nor do we expect an activist due to the controlling shareholder),” he added. Shares of Paramount are down nearly 37% this year as the media company contends with cord cutting amid a broader transition to streaming. The analyst said those risks will only “continue to worsen in the years ahead,” as he expects that streaming will “only be meaningfully profitable for the biggest scale players.” The analyst said he expects that Paramount is being traded at a premium compared to media peers such as Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox, and said it should fall further from here. Cahall cut his price target on Paramount to $13 from $19, implying roughly more than 30% downside from Friday’s closing price of $19.02. The stock down 3.5% in Monday premarket trading. –CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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