Digest: Sky Italia posts profit

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Sky Italia, the satellite television unit owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., turned its first-ever net profit and saw its subscriber base in Italy pass the 4 million mark, the company said Wednesday. The company also said it is mulling a possible initial public offering, which could come as soon as the end of next year. Sky posted profits of €32 million ($42.2 million) for the year ending June 30. Because the company is privately held by News Corp., it is not required to report full results.

Newspaper biz bleak

Goldman Sachs predicted Wednesday that the new year will not bring growth to the newspaper industry as the Internet continues to steal classified and national advertising revenue. Analyst Peter Appert said he sees "no signs of life in national advertising spending," and that "industry expectations of low-single-digit ad revenue growth in 2007 will prove optimistic."

Holiday hotties

According to online retailers during the last week of holiday buying, a Time Warner Inc. puzzle and a classic doll were hot. At Amazon.com a Princess Genevieve Barbie Doll was the top-selling toy and at Barnes and Noble's Web site Life Magazine's Picture Puzzle was its top seller. The most popular DVD on Amazon was "Little Miss Sunshine," while Barnes and Noble said theirs was "The Devil Wears Prada." Each retailer's Web site listed "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" as the second-best-selling DVD.

Yahoo! optimism

An analyst advised investors Wednesday to get bullish on Yahoo! Inc. shares, but cautioned that the company still faces rough times. In a note Wednesday, RBC Capital Markets analyst Jordan Rohan reiterated an "outperform" rating, saying shares of the Internet company are "at or near a trough now and should improve within the next 12 months." The analyst lowered the target price $1 to $30. Yahoo! shares fell 3.1% on Wednesday to $25.59.
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