Nielsen Shares Fall On Analyst Downgrade, Cites 'Competitive Alternatives'

The price of Nielsen's publicly-traded stock fell about 3% midday Wednesday, dropping near its 52-week low, following a downgrade by an influential Wall Street analyst.

In a note sent to investors, Morgan Stanley's Toni Kaplan, downgraded Nielsen's stock to "underweight" from "equal weight," which likely triggered some sell off driving its share price down.

Kaplan attributed the downgrade to the emergence of competitive alternatives, including Comscore and VideoAmp, the latter which recently announced a TV measurement partnership with ViacomCBS, one of Nielsen's biggest customers.

Another one, NBCUniversal, has been highly critical of Nielsen, including its plans to create the NielsenOne cross-measurement platform, and has begun working with a wide variety of alternative research suppliers and is expected to announce various tests of new audience measurement approaches with major advertisers and agencies soon.

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