Analysts mark down Liberty Global amid Brexit fears

Analysts have marked down Liberty Global shares as a result of the Brexit vote in the UK, citing the risk of UK recession and the diminished likelihood of some sort of deal with Vodafone.

Pivotal Research Group reduced its year-end target for Liberty’s stock from US$50 to US$41 immediately after the result of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU came in, citing the risk of recession in the UK as well as the possible risk of recession across the EU.

The analyst group added the caveat that it expected European and UK government moves to stimulate the economy, which could help the relatively low-priced utility-type services that Liberty Global provides.

Pivotal said that trading in European telecom and cable shares was likely to remain choppy until there was greater certainty about the post-referendum landscape.

Analyst group Jefferies meanwhile speculated that the Brexit vote could make a merger between Liberty Global and Vodafone less likely. According to the group, Vodafone no longer being perceived as a “European Champion” that should be strengthened as a matter of industrial policy could lead regulators to put any deal under much tougher scrutiny.

Liberty Global’s stock was trading at US$28.80 on the NASDAQ at close on Friday amid a general sell-off of European telco stocks.