Digest: Profit slide at RealNets
EmptyDigital media firm RealNetworks Inc. said Wednesday that fourth-quarter profit fell from $295.6 million a year ago to $39.3 million. Payments from an antitrust settlement and commercial agreements with Microsoft Corp. totaled $60.9 million, down from $434.4 million. Revenue jumped 50% to $125.6 million.
Political ads aid Sinclair
Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. said Wednesday that it swung to a fourth-quarter profit on higher political advertising revenue. The TV station owner reported a profit of $11.1 million, compared with a loss of $1.8 million in the year-ago period. Revenue gained 11% to $198.1 million, surpassing estimates. Political revenue surged from $1.4 million a year ago to $21.6 million. Sinclair shares rose 4.7% to $14.
Endemol OKs French buy
Shareholders of TV production company Endemol approved plans Wednesday to acquire Endemol France, possibly paving the way for Endemol owner Telefonica to sell the company outright. Endemol is behind such worldwide TV hits as "Big Brother" and "Fear Factor." When Telefonica listed Endemol in November 2005, Endemol France was left out of the offering because of a disagreement over payouts to managers, an exclusion that has proven to be a hurdle to any potential sale of Endemol. Telefonica is the controlling shareholder of both Endemol and the French firm.
Fidelity cuts Yahoo! stake
Fidelity Investments, the world's No. 1 mutual fund firm, cut its stake in Yahoo! Inc. in the fourth quarter by 51% to 19.1 million shares, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday. Fidelity also slashed its holding in AT&T Inc. by 29% to 202.25 million shares. It raised its holdings in No. 1 software maker Microsoft Corp. by 13% to 156.2 million shares. Yahoo! shares rose 3.7% to $30.66.