Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Notablecalls paperstand

According to the Wall Street Journals “Heard on the Street” column, Kraft’s (KFT) stock issue may press shares lower.The co is preparing for the 2nd stage of its separation from Altria. The 2nd step likely will entail issuing Kraft shares to current Altria stockholders. The size of the 2nd offering, estd at nearly 1.5bn shares, will dwarf the first, and there is concern that millions of those shares could be dumped back on the mkt by Altria shareholders, pushing Kraft's price lower.

According to the Barron’s Online, shares of Getty Images (GYI) are looking very attractive to one insider at the co. Director James Bailey doubled his holdings in the co last Fri in his 2nd purchase in as many months. Michael Painchaud, managing director of research at Market Profile Theorems, says Getty "has been underperforming relative to earnings expectations, but [the buying] is probably a classic situation where analysts are indeed behind the curve. [Bailey] probably has it correct in the long run at acquiring shares at these prices."

The NY Times discusses DVD mkt, saying that while DVD sales sink, renting shows no slowdown. DVD sales represent more than half of the rev studios generate from most of their movies. But those sales are expected to grow just 2% this year, a far cry from the double-digit growth the industry enjoyed just 2 years ago. With most movies and many TV shows now on DVD, studios are running out of new material to throw at consumers. Some studios have been repackaging older hits into anniversary box sets and other promotions, but consumers may be tiring of that tactic. Comcast (CMCSA) lets its subscribers view 7,500 free movies and programs. While this has made it easier for Americans to avoid driving to the mall to buy DVD's, they are still renting them. Netflix (NFLX) has about 5M customers. CEO Reed Hastings expects to have 20M customers by 2012. He says his business is helped by the exclusive licensing deals that restrict the selection of movies available via Internet downloading and VOD. "DVD's will dominate for another decade," Mr. Hastings said.

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