Thrills! Chills! Spills!

Fasten your seatbelts: entertainment stocks can take investors on a roller-coaster ride

Hispanics are projected to be the largest minority group in the U.S. by the year 2050, according to U.S. Census
estimates. He sees holding the stock for at least three to five years. May’s other media holdings include Fox Entertainment Group (NYSE: FOX) and Comcast.

As the century comes to a close, retail investors and industry observers see continuing consolidation in the media industry. Roffman of Roffman Miller sees this trend as a function of what’s hot and what’s not in the stock market. “Unless you’re in the technology sector, if your stock is doing anything at all, it’s got to be in an industry that’s in a consolidation phase,” says Roffman. “It’s either eat or be eaten.”

Industries undergoing contraction tend to attract the attention of investment bankers looking to do deals, Roffman says. Also, it helps companies sell at “very high prices. And Wall Street loves that. It loves sizzle.” And, it loves to be entertained by-and to profit from-a good story.

Welcome To The Funhouse

When it comes to media, broadcast and cable stocks, it’s been thrilling for some and chilling for others. For example, shares of Univision, an operator of Spanish-language TV stations and programming, have soared more than 131% so far this year, while Walt Disney Co., home of Mickey Mouse and owner of television network ABC, is down nearly 17% year-to-date. Below are 10 selected entertainment-related stocks and how they’ve fared, ranked by total return this year.

COMPANY

TICKER

CURRENT PRICE*

PRICE AS OF 12/31/98

YEAR-TO-DATE TOTAL RETURN

52-WEEK HIGH

52-WEEK
LOW

Univision Communications NYSE: UVN

$83.44

$36.00

131.78%

$87.13

$21.06

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer NYSE: MGM

23.56

13.19

78.62

24.88

7.13

CBS Corp. NYSE: CBS

44.38

32.81

35.26

51.94

20.13

Comcast Corp. Nasdaq: CMCSA

33.38**

28.71

16.27

75.00

28.31

Viacom Inc. NYSE: VIA

41.63**

36.78

13.19

49.63

27.88

Seagram Co. NYSE: VO

40.06

38.00

5.42

65.00

27.94

News Corp. NYSE: NWS

27.56

26.44

4.24

37.63

22.50

Time Warner Inc. NYSE: TWX

60.88

62.06

-1.90

78.63

39.63

Fox Entertainment Group NYSE: FOX

22.63

25.13

-9.95

30.00

19.38

Walt Disney Co. NYSE: DIS

24.94

30.00

-16.87

38.69

24.13

* As of 10/14/99
** Adjusted for stock splits
Source: Yahoo! Finance
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