If you thought Citigroup putting the chances of the Sirius-XM merger at 69% was being optimistic, wait till you see what Tom Watts of Cowen & Company wrote in a recent note issued to clients.
Watts finds that there's a “70%-plus chance” that the merger of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. wins government approval.
The Cowen & Company analyst says the Department of Justice decision should come “relatively soon,” with both companies in full compliance with the DoJ’s information requests. He says a ruling from the FCC should follow soon after. About a month ago, Watts said that approval of the deal could come as early as October.
Watts has Outperform ratings on both stocks, “even without M&A potential.” He thinks both companies can beat the market on free cash flow potential alone. Watts also feels that XM and Sirius set conservative subscriber growth estimates for 2007, “setting the stage for out-performance in the second half.”