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Morgan Stanley analysts upgrade media sector, Disney, MSG

A group of Morgan Stanley analysts led by Benjamin Swinburne upgraded the media sector to "attractive" from "cautious" over growing confidence in television-centric media companies, TheFly.com reported.

Swinburne reportedly expects an acceleration in revenue growth in fiscal 2017 for the sector as it gets through a time of major mergers between pay-TV distributors that caused significantly reduced distribution fees, an incremental contribution from new streaming companies and the launch of over-the-top services. The analyst added that with earnings ready to grow, television advertising is showing its resilience, with U.S. tax reform also having a positive influence.

Swinburne also upgraded Walt Disney Co. to "overweight" from "equal weight" as the reset of estimates and distribution renewals for new streaming packages, ESPN (US) and Disney's upcoming movies will increase EPS growth coming out of fiscal 2017. Swinburne raised the price target on company shares to $124 from $101, according to the Jan. 30 report.

Further, analyst Ryan Fiftal of Morgan Stanley upgraded Madison Square Garden Co. to "overweight" from "equal weight," raising the price target of company shares to $210 from $185.