Entertainment stocks ahead of curve

THR Showbiz 50's loss is smaller than other indexes

The silver lining for those whose retirements might be tied up in media stocks? Beats banks and cars.

On Friday, the Dow Jones touched an 11-year low before recovering to a mere six-year low. The index, which fell 34% last year, is off another 16% this year. The S&P 500 is off 15% this year.

But The Hollywood Reporter Showbiz 50, unconstrained by weak auto and financial companies, has sunk only 7.5% this year.

Some Showbiz 50 stocks actually boast healthy gains, led by Netflix, up 23% as consumers seek cheaper ways to rent DVDs.

Google is up 13% this year, and National CineMedia, which presides over a growing in-theater advertising industry, is up 11%.

Other Showbiz 50 winners include Activision Blizzard (up 9%), EchoStar (up 8%), Apple (up 7%) and even lowly Sirius XM Radio (up 2%).

Contrast those stocks with Citigroup, just for kicks, which sank 22% on Friday to $1.95 -- about the same price at which the company's shares traded in 1991. So much for long-term investing.

General Motors provides an even starker example of stock-market carnage. On Friday, the company's shares dropped 12% to $1.77 -- about where they traded during the 1930s.

Such data make even General Electric look good. Shares of the NBC Universal parent sank 7% on Friday to $9.38, about a 14-year low. The stock is off 40% this year.

All of the other media conglomerates have outperformed GE this year, with Viacom doing best, down only 20%. It's followed by Disney (down 23%), Sony (off 24%), Time Warner (down 27%) and News Corp. (down 30%).

The worst Showbiz 50 performers this year are Hearst-Argyle TV (down 70%), Sinclair Broadcast Group (down 68%), Carmike Cinemas (off 50%) and THQ and Crown Media (both down 43%).
comments powered by Disqus