Lionsgate Stock Hits Another All-Time High

UPDATE: They did it again. Lionsgate’s stock today hit an intra-day and 52-week high of $31.10 on the New York Stock Exchange. It closed at 30.92, up 0.63 or 2.08%. Lionsgate has been on a roll lately, surging in part to the successful Hunger Games and Twilight franchises. … Read More »

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Michael Douglas Stars In FBI Campaign Against Securities Fraud

By | Monday February 27, 2012 @ 11:35am PST

He’s not an insider trader, but he plays one in the movies — and that’s what counted for the FBI’s new campaign warning investors about securities fraud. The agency enlisted Michael Douglas for a PSA that harkens back to his role as swindler Gordon Gekko in the Wall Street films. ”The movie was … Read More »

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‘The Dark Knight Rises’ In Gotham Brawls?

By | Sunday November 6, 2011 @ 2:49pm PST

UPDATE: These amateur videos shot in NYC supposedly depict a brawl between supporters of Bane (Tom Hardy) and Gotham police led by Batman (Christian Bale) in The Dark Knight Rises. If any of this seems familiar, it’s because similar scenes were shot three months ago in Pittsburgh.

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Media Stocks Off To Rough Start Amid New Doubts About Greek Bailout

Everyone’s reacting today to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s startling decision to hold a referendum on the deal cut last week to save his country’s economy. The agreement is unpopular — lenders would wipe out about half of Greece’s debt … Read More »

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Media Analysts Conflicted About News Corp

By | Monday August 22, 2011 @ 6:34pm PDT

Needham & Company analyst Laura Martin today downgraded her recommendation on New Corp from “buy” to “hold.” The company has set aside millions of dollars to prep itself for lawsuits in the scandal’s wake, but Martin told Reuters she didn’t think it was enough. News Corp shares have lost almost 14% of their value since the investigation began in July. Today, shares closed down 5 cents to $15.51.

But not all media analysts feel that way. BTIG’s Rich Greenfield thinks News Corp is an inexpensive stock right now, and he issued a “buy” recommendation and raised his 12-month price target for the company’s stock price to $24:

Particularly when put in the context of its double digit earnings growth (with only 12% of operating income from publishing assets in fiscal June 2012). The question is only what will an increasingly “mature” News Corp. do with its strong free cash flow ($3.5-$4.0 billion annually) and an underleveraged balance sheet (ended fiscal 2011 at 0.5x leverage). With News Corp now ‘cash rich’ following the build-up of cash to finance BSkyB, investors are concerned that the company will find a way to destroy shareholder value through large-scale, non-core acquisitions.

News Corp has committed to buying back $5 billion of stock during fiscal (June) 2012. A $5 billion buyback is something virtually every investor wanted the company to do prior to the BSkyB acquisition attempt (in 2010). However, nobody believed the company would ever do it, principally because they did not think Rupert believed in returning capital to shareholders (regardless of what his top executives wanted).

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Cable Show: Fix Consumers’ Cable Experience, Or Else, Analysts Warn

Cable Show: Will Economic Pressures Force Cable Operators To Offer Fewer Channels?

Wall Street analysts warned cable operators on Tuesday that they’d better fix their clunky user interfaces and lousy consumer service if they want to avoid a showdown with Internet and technology powers such as Google and Apple. The big threat “isn’t really Netflix. It’s something we haven’t seen yet,” Citigroup Investment Research’s Jason Bazinet said in a panel discussion about the industry’s financial prospects at the National Cable Show in Chicago. He raised one possibility that has grabbed many people’s imaginations recently — that Apple might design a TV set that would work with programming from a pay TV rival such as DirecTV. “That plays to Apple’s strength, which is not your strength, which is the operating system,” Bazinet said, calling cable’s user experience “a Rube Goldberg contraption.” Morgan Stanley’s Benjamin Swinburne says that although the Street is less concerned than it was a few months ago about Netflix becoming a major competitor, “that doesn’t mean what Netflix has done couldn’t be done by someone with a much bigger check book.” Deutsche Bank Securities’ Douglas Mitchelson also urged cable operators to improve the user experience before Internet services have a chance to establish themselves. He says that investors also are “pretty nervous” about the rising prices that cable operators are paying for programming — especially now that broadcast networks are demanding cash from systems that rebroadcast signals from their local stations. Read More »

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Bill Hurt To Star In HBO Financial Crisis Pic

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: HBO has set William Hurt to play Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Curtis Hanson to direct Too Big To Fail, a dissection of the 2008 financial crisis and the … Read More »

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The Film Department Withdraws IPO & Negotiates With Investors For $200M

By | Wednesday August 4, 2010 @ 10:30am PDT

Here’s the announcement from Mark Gill and Neil Sacker:

The Film Department announced today that it is in negotiation with investors who prefer to keep the company in private hands for $200 million in equity and debt that will be used to finance the production, acquisition and U.S. release of

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Now KKR Is Backing Off CAA Investment

By | Tuesday August 3, 2010 @ 2:33pm PDT

I’ve heard from multiple sources that, after months and months of pursuing potential financial partners, CAA probably won’t obtain that big fat investment from KKR. (CAA Negotiating $200M Investment From KKR.) The NYC-based private equity firm … Read More »

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Another Sign Western Civilization Might Be Coming To An End…

Nellie Andreeva

The cast of MTV’s Jersey Shore rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange this morning… Dow Jones ended the day up .1%, while the stock of MTV parent company Viacom was down 1.8%.

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Ric Burns Under Fire For Goldman Sachs Pic

By | Monday July 26, 2010 @ 8:47am PDT
Mike Fleming

The Wall Street Journal today raises interesting issues in revealing that documentary filmmaker Ric Burns has been quietly getting paid by Goldman Sachs to make a film about the brokerage house — with Goldman Sachs reportedly maintaining editorial control. This might well have seemed like a harmless  industrial film and … Read More »

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Lionsgate Suddenly Dilutes Icahn Holdings

Ceasefire Ends; Lionsgate Ponders Icahn’s $6.50 A Share Bid

So now Carl Icahn owns only 33.5% of the film and TV studio, and not the 37.9% he had as of yesterday. Nasty, nasty, nasty. Though it is interesting … Read More »

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Ban On Movie Futures Trading Passes Congress & Awaits Obama’s Signature

The U.S. Senate today approved financial reform legislation that includes a ban on futures trading on motion picture box office results. Since the bill was already approved by the U.S. House Of Representatives, it now is on its way to the White House for President Obama’s signature. Bob Pisano, Interim … Read More »

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Ridley Scott Eyeing Reteam With Leo DiCaprio On ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’

Mike Fleming

56110900EXCLUSIVE: The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort’s memoir of 1990′s stockbroker decadence, is back on the prowl. I’m hearing that  the film is being put back together, with Ridley Scott in early discussions to direct Leonardo DiCaprio, who once expected … Read More »

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Jeremy Irons Answers The ‘Margin Call’

Mike Fleming

jeremy-irons-20080715-436952Jeremy Irons is the final piece of an impressive cast for Margin Call, the indie film by director JC Chandor that is shooting in New York City. Irons is the chief executive of a financial firm in a 24-hour period during … Read More »

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Lionsgate Stock Jumps As Joins Russell 2000; Icahn Slams Lionsgate-MGM Merger

icahn lgAnother day, another brawl between Lionsgate and its biggest shareholder Carl Icahn as he attempts a hostile takeover of the studio. Today, he gave an interview to Dow Jones newswire saying he wouldn’t rule out supporting a merger between … Read More »

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By | Thursday June 24, 2010 @ 11:27pm PDT

hollywood wallstreetUPDATE: The MPAA interim CEO/president Bob Pisano weighed in this morning about the late night congressional vote to leave a ban on box office futures in the financial reform bill. Said Pisano: “We are heartened by the … Read More »

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Odds Stacking Against Movie Futures Start

Mike Fleming

Robert Swagger, CEO of the Trend Exchange, gave a press conference detailing his progress — or lack of it — in swaying DC politicians to remove movie futures exchanges from the financial reform legislation that is expected to be signed into law later this year. After gaining approval last week … Read More »

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Will This Be 1st Futures Exchange Film?

By | Tuesday June 15, 2010 @ 8:31am PDT

Takers_Movie_PosterUPDATE: When that awful idea of a Hollywood futures exchange linked to box office looked headed for approval, it looked like Cantor Fitzgerald would sell contracts on Iron Man 2 as its first film. Well, that pic came and … Read More »

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