ANALYST VIEWS: ARE ITV’S RESULTS AS GOOD AS THEY LOOK?

 
Steve Dinneen
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LORNA TILBIAN | NUMIS
ITV was one of our key picks for 2011 and we retain our ‘buy’ recommendation. The first-quarter is up 12 per cent and April is currently 8-12 per cent better, though comparatives get markedly harder through 2011, particularly due to the World Cup. We are raising our target price to 115p.

PAUL GOODEN | RBS
The key questions is where will earnings settle in 2011. Management is guiding to a 23 per cent tax rate in 2011, and interest costs are expected to be around £65m, so our initial guesstimate is that consensus earnings per share for 2011 will be in the 7.5p-8p range.

STEVE LIECHTI | INVESTEC
Results are as good as we expected with a few extra positives, for example a lower tax charge. ITV remains a company still clearly in transition with an aggressive new management team driving change. We are unsure if long-term pressure on TV ad revenues can be offset at this stage, so retain our ‘hold’.