NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For well over a year now, I've beat the drum on big media stocks.
I am about to sell the shares of Viacom (VIAB) I hold long in my daughter's custodial account for a, presumably, double-digit profit.
More than simple profit taking drives the VIAB decision. I'm concerned about the company.We know ratings at Nickelodeon have been hurting for a while. Some blame SpongeBob; others the convenience of KidsTV on Netflix (NFLX). While it's likely a mix of both, something bigger looms. A larger-than-the-sum-of-its-parts trend. From The Wall Street Journal comes word that it's not just Nick. Numbers at MTV and Comedy Central are down as well. In fairness, the WSJ reports that Time Warner and Comcast (CMCSA) have seen similar ratings' declines at TBS and USA Network, respectively. Chalk these decreases up to several very real reasons -- warm weather late in the year in much of the country, impact of streaming/on-demand, the home stretch of the baseball season and the start of football. These things all play a role, however, as I see it, it's the final two sports-related explanations that tell the tale at Viacom. Simply stated, Viacom doesn't have meaningful sports programming to speak of. It's not like it's filmed entertainment division (Paramount) has been picking up the slack for lackluster network performance. We'll see how the most recent quarter plays out (Viacom reports on Nov. 15), but for the third quarter of 2012, global revenue tanked 14%. The company blames a strong third quarter in 2011, fueled by beneficial timing of programming and new releases, for the shortfall. I'm not quite sure I buy it. A stock I am now accumulating, News Corp (NWSA), performed well and appears set to move higher if you dig deeper into its wimpy 1% year-over-year revenue increase for the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended in June.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV