Bear Stearns slaps Emmis with rating downgrade

Emmis Communications Corp. has been downgraded by Bear Stearns & Co. to “underperform” from “peerperform.”

The Wall Street investment firm said it based the decision on widespread speculation in “Radio Ink” and other trade press that CEO Jeff Smulyan will make another attempt to take the Indianapolis broadcaster private. The timing would be poor partly because investors won’t look kindly on such a transaction at a time cash flow is weak, Bear Stearns said.

The stock is trading at $10.39 a share.

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