Influential Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. media analyst Richard Bilotti gave News Corp. and Fox Entertainment Group stocks a jolt after he raised his ratings of the media companies. On March 4, Bilotti raised his rating on News Corp. to "strong buy" from "neutral" and upped his rating on Fox Entertainment Group to "outperform" from "neutral." Bilotti based his upgrade on News' low valuation relative to its peers in the sector, its aggressive plans to reduce debt and the resolution of sports-rights issues at Fox. With respect to the difference in ratings, Bilotti wrote that he believed News shares were more likely to increase in value. News stock was up $1.53 on March 6, closing at $29.89, after executives said that they saw signs of an ad-market recovery. Fox, which was up $1.55 on March 5, rose another 30 cents on March 6, closing at $25.01.
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