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Blockbuster on Death Row, All Stores to Close by January

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Netflix (NFLX) and Apple (AAPL) have hammered the final nail into Blockbuster's coffin: parent company Dish Network (DISH) announced it will close all Blockbuster retail locations by January.

Dish Network said it will cease Blockbuster operations across its 300 remaining U.S.-based stores as well as in its mail DVD distribution warehouses. The plans will make as many as 2,800 employees redundant.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Dish CEO Joseph P. Clayton in a statement.

Blockbuster's business model was severely crippled in the latter half of the 2000s. Netflix's streaming service and mail DVD program decimated the video rental market, while Apple's iTunes made purchasing digital content convenient.

The company will continue to offer support to Blockbuster's franchise operations, as well as video-on-demand and streaming services.

Dish purchased the bankrupt rental chain at auction in 2011 for $320 million, a far cry from its 2002 market value of $5 billion.

Shares dropped 0.51% to $48.61 by 3:50 p.m. EDT. Over the year, the pay-TV provider has risen 33.6%.

TheStreet Ratings team rates Dish Network as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate Dish Network CORP (DISH) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and generally higher debt management risk."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • DISH's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $544.81 million or 11.29% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -8.12%.
  • 38.87% is the gross profit margin for DISH NETWORK CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of DISH's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -0.30% trails the industry average.
  • DISH NETWORK CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last two years. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DISH NETWORK CORP reported lower earnings of $1.41 a share vs. $3.38 a share in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 3.2% in earnings ($1.37 vs. $1.41).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Media industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 104.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $225.73 million to -$11.05 million.

Stock quotes in this article: DISH 

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