Wall Street to Sleeping Media Giants: Wake Up
Look around these days and you'll find a number of major U.S. companies that have delivered solid revenue and earnings growth in recent years but are still feeling heat from Wall Street because their shares have yet to show gains for this decade.
Look closer, and you'll notice that many of these companies are media conglomerates that are major household names.
Now, with Wall Street pondering the end of a five-year bull market as credit worries weigh on stocks, the heat is rising to a boil."Why do investors have to wait until a post-Dick Parsons era for change?" wondered Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield in a research note following Time Warner's second-quarter earnings call Wednesday, in which Parsons, the company's CEO, explained why AOL's ad revenue slowed dramatically. "It is increasingly clear to us that Time Warner is way too complicated to analyze, its business units are largely underperforming their peers, and its stock price is now back to December 2003 levels." Time Warner's stock showed signs of breaking out of its more-than-seven-year stupor in the fall of 2006, after the company agreed to spin off its cable division and shift its floundering Internet unit from a subscription business to an advertising-focused model, like Google (GOOG).
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