Viacom shares could rise even without a CBS merger: Barron’s By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO The Viacom office is seen in Hollywood, Los Angeles

(Reuters) – Shares of Viacom Inc (O:) could rise “at least” 20 percent over the coming year as the company’s strategy to revitalize itself for the digital age takes root, according to Barron’s.

The U.S. financial newspaper said Viacom is doing a better job reusing its television shows and other intellectual property, cutting expenses on non-flagship networks and seeing ratings growth on its major outlets.

Barron’s wrote that the rise in shares would not depend upon a deal to merge with CBS Corp (N:), although such a combination could unlock opportunities for cost savings and cross-selling.

CBS on Sunday announced a deal to end litigation against controlling shareholder Shari Redstone and National Amusements Inc for control of the broadcaster. CEO Leslie Moonves resigned from the company and National Amusements agreed it would propose no merger between CBS and Viacom for two years.

Viacom shares closed at $28.98 on Friday.

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