Lehman Upgrades EMI Rating

Analysts predict global music growth.

Lehman Brothers this week upgraded its valuation on EMI Group, citing anticipated growth in digital sales and improved prospects for the global music market.

In a research note issued March 8, Lehman readjusted its rating on EMI to "overweight" from "underweight" and delivered an upbeat summation for its rivals' prospects. "As digital sales grow exponentially and the global market stabilizes, we believe the market will look to potential growth again, and we upgrade [EMI]," say analysts David Ferguson and Richard Jones.

Lehman Brothers raised its target price on EMI's share price to 322p from its old target of 259p. The company's shares are currently trading at 243.5p.

The investment bank's analysts concur that the global music market "is finally about to recover" and that from "flat sales over the next year, [growth] can increase to at least 5% from 2007, and potentially even higher." It adds, "In our view, the worst of the U.S. market data should be over."

Elsewhere in its report, Lehman Brothers predicts that the global DVD market will slow this year -- first in the United States and then internationally -- to coincide with the stabilization of the recorded music business.