Shares of Crown Media Holdings Inc. advanced 11% on Wednesday to $7.18 after the company, which operates the Hallmark Channel, posted a net loss of $43.7 million in the second quarter, down from a net loss of $227.4 million a year ago. Net revenue rose 11% to $55.9 million thanks to a 13% increase in advertising revenue and a 2% increase in subscriber-fee revenue. Hallmark Channel subscribers increased 13% to 82.6 million. The company said that it has more than 30 movies in the development or production stage for airing next year.
Shares of Warner Music Group climbed 21% on Wednesday to $12 after the New York Post said that the company might be considering going private. Citing a company source, the Post said WMG's falling stock price and negative sentiment for the music industry amid a steady decline of CD sales were frustrating the company's financial backers. The going-private discussion at WMG, home to such artists as Madonna and Kid Rock, "is understood to be in its infancy," the report said. WMG led Wednesday's gainers on The Hollywood Reporter's Showbiz 50 stock index.
Microsoft Corp. does not have to pay $1.5 billion in damages to Alcatel-Lucent SA, a federal judge ruled this week, reversing a March jury decision that said Microsoft's Windows Media Player infringes on Alcatel-Lucent's digital music patents. Microsoft also is in the clear on another patent — owned by Alcatel-Lucent and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, a German company that Microsoft paid $16 million for rights to use the technology — since Fraunhofer did not also sue Microsoft, the judge ruled.