Media stocks are rocked again

Showbiz 50 tumbles; forecasts cut on Disney, Viacom

Another dive on Wall Street Wednesday had The Hollywood Reporter Showbiz 50 trading at a historic low before the index of entertainment stocks made a light recovery into the closing bell.

The Showbiz 50, created almost three years ago, closed 3.4% lower on Wednesday to 735.28. It's all-time low of 725.49 was set Oct. 10.

The Dow shed 514.45 points Wednesday, or 5.7%, while the S&P 500 was down 6.1%.

Stocks are, of course, having a dismal month, with the Dow off an astonishing 21.5% and the Showbiz 50 down 18.3%.

On Wednesday, only three stocks among the Showbiz 50 closed higher: Blockbuster, Apple and Yahoo.

Apple and Yahoo rose despite them both offering up lackluster revenue and profit guidance a day earlier, suggesting that traders have already baked such concerns into at least some stock prices.

The biggest Showbiz 50 losers Wednesday were National CineMedia (down 15.4%), British Sky Broadcasting (14.6%), Sirius XM Radio (12.6%) and Warner Music Group (11.2%).

The conglomerates fared slightly better, with CBS down 10.5%, Disney off 8.9%, News Corp. down 8.2%, Sony off 7.7%, Time Warner down 7.3% and Viacom off 5.4%.

Hitting 52-week lows on Wednesday were Midway Games, National CineMedia, Sirius XM and Warner Music.

Analysts, meanwhile, have been busy reining in their estimates for media companies. On Wednesday, Miller Tabak cut his price target for Disney shares from $35 to $32 and Pali Research cut its profit estimates for next year on Viacom.
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