New Media, Video Game Stock Languishes as Old-School Entertainment Thrives on Wall Street

'The Hunger Games'

Suzanne Collins' massively popular trilogy made its big screen foray in 2012 with the premiere of The Hunger Games. Top-lined by a critically adored Jennifer Lawrence, Lionsgate's franchise-starter brought in a record-breaking $152 million domestic haul in its first weekend alone. That made it the third highest-grossing opening weekend of all time and the best for a non-sequel.

In the first half of the year, big gainers also include movie exhibitor Carmike Cinemas and all of the conglomerates -- with the exception of Sony.

New-media stocks largely took a backseat to traditional entertainment in the first half of the year, with Lionsgate Entertainment, the company behind The Hunger Games, climbing 77 percent while movie-exhibition entity Carmike Cinemas surged 113 percent. All of the conglomerates except Sony bested the 8 percent gain notched by the S&P 500.

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Meanwhile, among the many new media companies that were down during the first half were the major video game companies along with Zynga (off 42 percent), Google (down 10 percent), TiVo (down 8 percent), Yahoo (minus 2 percent) and Netflix (off 1 percent).

Two notable exceptions to the new-media doldrums were AOL (up 86 percent) and Apple (up 44 percent). Plus, Sirius XM Radio eked out a 2 percent gain.

Faring the worst among U.S. video games was Electronic Arts, which dropped 40 percent in six months. Take-Two Interactive Software was down 30 percent, THQ was off 18 percent and Activision Blizzard fell 1 percent.

Leading the conglomerates was Comcast (up 36 percent), followed by Disney (up 29 percent), CBS (plus 22 percent),  News Corp. (up 24 percent), Time Warner (plus 8 percent) and Viacom (up 4 percent). Sony fell 21 percent.

If analysts know their stuff, over the next year or so Sony will outperform the rest of the conglomerates by rising about 22 percent, according to the average price target among analysts collected at MarketWatch.

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Viacom will be second with a 20 percent rise, followed by CBS with a 17 percent rise, Time Warner with an 11 percent gain and Comcast with an 8 percent gain. News Corp., which will likely be split into two companies in the next year, will rise 5 percent and Disney should be up just 2 percent.

Other notable (actual) gains during the first half of the year were: Discovery Communications (32 percent), Imax (31 percent), Time Warner Cable (31 percent), Cinemark (26 percent), Regal Entertainment Group (19 percent) and DreamWorks Animation (15 percent).