MME, IM Int'l stocks go opposite directions

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COLOGNE, Germany -- There was a clear winner and a big loser among German media stocks Tuesday. While shares in TV production group MME Moviement jumped 4% on solid first-half results, stock in Intermedia parent IM Internationalmedia plummeted 20% as IM's figures showed no sign of improvement.

IM stock briefly dipped to €0.21 ($0.29) in trading in Frankfurt, a 52-week low after IM announced it earned revenue of just €10.8 million ($14.7 million) in the first six months of 2007 and booked a net loss of €4.7 million ($6.4 million). Over the same period in 2006, IM had €42.5 million in revenue and a €300,000 net loss.

By midafternoon, IM shares were up slightly but still trading off 19.7% at €0.23 ($0.31).

IM blamed the second-quarter slide on the fact that the company had only one release in the period -- low-budget comedy "Magicians," an Intermedia/Universal Pictures co-production. The Andrew O'Conner-directed feature has only been released in the U.K. and Malta to this point and has enjoyed less-than-stellar boxoffice. The bulk of IM's second-quarter revenue came from sales of library rights.

IM tried to put a positive spin on the numbers, saying its newly launched sales unit, headed by former First Look International president Stuart Ford, signed $40 million worth of deals at this year's Marche du Film in Cannes. The cash "provides a solid basis for new productions," IM said in a statement.

It was a very different story at Berlin-based MME, which saw shares jump 4% to €7.7 ($10.5) by mid-afternoon Tuesday. MME, which is controlled by private equity group Permira, booked €44.2 million ($60.1 million) in revenue in the first half, a 8.6% jump. Traders did not seem worried that EBIT profits at the company dipped to €2 million ($2.7 million) from €3.6 million a year earlier.

MME continues to benefit from takeover speculation. Many analysts have suggested that German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat.1, which is controlled by Permira together with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, will move to acquire MME.
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