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Analyst: Liberty Spin-Off Likely?

1/18/2004 7:00 PM Eastern

Citigroup Smith Barney media analyst Niraj Gupta raised his 12-month price target on Liberty Media Corp. to $14 per share from $13, citing Liberty's recent moves to pay down debt and simplify its operations.

In a research report, Gupta wrote that Liberty is expected to continue to explore ways to maximize its value, including possibly spinning off assets and splitting the company into multiple parts. As an example, Gupta said he believes Liberty could spin off its $7.7 billion stake in News Corp. into a separate traded company, unlocking meaningful value for Liberty shareholders and improving its private asset mix to about 65%, compared to 54% at present.

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