Blockbuster Rallies on Hope
(Blockbuster article updated from April 16 to reflect additional gains in the Blockbuster stock price, as well as additional analysis on what might be driving the stock.)
The company announced on Friday that it postponed its annual shareholders meeting to gain more time to devise a plan to restructure its debt and avoid being de-listed. It will now be held on June 26.
Blockbuster said the month extension will help it "complete one or more of our ongoing recapitalization initiatives prior to the annual meeting, possibly resolving our NYSE noncompliance. "Earlier in the month the company said it is not in compliance with the New York Stock Exchange requirements for minimum market value. Management also said that it will ask shareholders to vote on a reverse stock split during the annual meeting. Blockbuster currently has about $1 billion in debt, and the company said recently that if it does not shore up more cash it may be forced to file for bankruptcy. Shares of Blockbuster are spiking 37.8% to 56 cents in Monday morning trading, following a 33% surge last week. Bloomberg reported on Friday that NCR (NCR) is planning to sell DVDs from its Blockbuster-branded video-rental kiosks, which are located in other retail outlets. NCR is in talks with film studios to offer $2-a-day rentals on new releases through the dispensers, Bloomberg reported. Currently NCR offers new releases for $1 through the kiosks. NCR is adding new kiosks to about 10,000 locations this year, and incorporating new products into the machines, such as music. As kiosks expand, Blockbusters' brick-and-mortar footprint is steadily declining. The retailer is currently in the process of shuttering 1,000 stores. A recent visit to a Blockbuster store in New York that is going out of business revealed that in an effort to rid itself of excess merchandise, it is selling some DVDs for as little a 99 cents. Digital Entertainment Group, a trade firm, said last week that sales of home entertainment products, like DVDs, Blu-ray discs and digitally distributed content, tanked 8% to $4.8 billion in the first quarter. Total rental sales also plunged 14%. There is also chatter that a buyout of Blockbuster is possible, though there is not much to support that rumor. -- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
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