8. Dreamworks Animation (DWA)
Company profile: Dreamworks, with a market value of $1.6 billion, develops animated feature films, television specials and series, online virtual worlds, and related consumer products. Among its most successful computer-generated animated creations are the "Shrek," "Madagascar," "Kung Fu Panda," and "Shark Tale" franchises.
Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 13% this year, but over three-years, have an average annual loss of 3%. Analysts give its shares two "buy" ratings, six "holds," three "weak holds," and four "sells," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.S&P has it rated "strong buy," with a $25 price target, which is a 37% premium to the current price. Its analyst likes it because of the success of the firm's 3D and home video releases and a new joint venture in China, opening up the world's largest video market. It also has "no debt and nearly $1.40 per share in cash," which "could make for an attractive takeover candidate."
7. Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF)Company profile: Lions Gate, with a market value of just under $2 billion, is a film entertainment studio producing for movies, television, home entertainment, and digitally delivered content. It bought Summit Entertainment for $412 million in January. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 84% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 43%. Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings, two "buy/holds," and two "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. For fiscal year 2012, analysts estimate it will earn 9 cents per share and that will grow to $1.11 in 2013. A blockbuster or a flop can make a big difference in this company's share price and the early buzz is that the company is likely to see huge profits with the release this coming weekend of "The Hunger Games." Its shares are up 11.5% in the past week and 27% in the past month. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) initiated coverage of Lions Gate Entertainment Tuesday with an "overweight" rating, citing the company's popular franchises, growing television business and strong free cash flow as particular positives. 6. Discovery Communications (DISCA) Company profile: Discovery, with a market value of $12 billion, produces and owns a unique library of televised content and outlets, including the Discovery Channel, TLC (The Learning Channel), Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, and 50% interests in OWN, Oprah Winfrey's new cable channel and The Hub, a children's network. Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 16% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 44%. Analysts give its shares five "buy" ratings, six "buy/holds," and 15 "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P has it rated "buy" with a $52 price target, which is an 8% premium to the current price. Analysts estimate it will earn $2.76 per share this year and $3.30 in 2013, a 20% rise in earnings. Morningstar analysts say "Discovery Channel is the most widely distributed brand in the world, reaching more than 200 countries," and the company's long-term growth "will be driven by expansion in international markets as pay-television penetration is well below 50% in countries such as Brazil and Australia." 5. CBS (CBS) Company profile: CBS, with a market value of $21 billion, is made up of the CBS' television network, 30 local TV stations, and 50% of CW, a joint venture between CBS and Time Warner. The company also owns the Showtime network, CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor advertising, and the book publisher Simon & Schuster, while its King World Productions owns syndicated TV shows such as "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune." Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 17% this year. Analysts give its shares 12 "buy" ratings, nine "buy/holds," seven "holds," and one "weak hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. S&P has it rated "strong buy," with a $35 price target, which is about an 11% premium to the current price. Analysts estimate it will earn $2.36 per share this year and that will grow by 14% to $2.69 per share in 2013. S&P has a "strong buy" rating, with a $35 price target, which is an 11% premium to the current price. S&P analysts say it's been helped by a rebound in advertising revenue as the economy recovers, as well as the strong performance of its syndicated properties.
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