Oprah Ousted From <I>Forbes</I> Throne at Last; All Hail Beyonce

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The list of the Most Powerful Celebrities was published again by Forbes, and Her Majesty Oprah Winfrey was toppled from her throne. Oprah dropped all the way down to fourth place, with annual earnings of $82 million.

Very few celebrities in the world make more money than she does.

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If you exclude Beyonce, who sits atop the list for the first time, as well as LeBron James and Dr. Dre, you end up with the following:

All numbers are in millions. Sorted by awesomeness.

This list is not exclusively about money. Other equally important factors are considered including how many times each celebrity was mentioned in print, on TV and on the radio between June 1, 2013, and June 1, 2014.

Twelve socials networks were also measured including Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), Google's (GOOGL)  YouTube and Orkut and Sina Weibo (WB)

The new Queen of the World is Beyonce, aka Mrs. (Jay-Z) Carter, only 32 years old and with earnings of $115 million. The Miami Heat's LeBron James is in second place with earnings of $72 million, followed by  Dr. Dre, currently in third place with earnings of $620 million after selling his venture Beats Electronics to Apple (AAPL) for $3 billion in cash and shares.

If Dr. Dre holds all his recently acquired Apple shares for a few decades, he will graduate to a far more important list and he may one day have a fortune as large as Charles Schwab.

Is it time to sell your shares in Oprah Winfrey and buy shares in Beyonce instead? Let's find out.

I can only hope that one day in the near future Oprah will decide to share 10% of her $3 billion estimated fortune with the rest of us by filing an initial public offering with the stock symbol HARPO.

Until that day comes, you can only buy shares in Discovery Communications (DISCA), which currently holds 50% of the Oprah Winfrey Network and reaches the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania.

The company makes more money than Dish Network (DISH), which launched the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2011 and is not growing as fast as before now that everybody wants to watch television on a tablet, phone and notebook.

It's not a bad idea to short Dish Network.

Discovery Communications has increased sales from $4.17 billion in 2011 to $4.49 billion in 2012 to $5.54 billion in 2013 and a lot of new Mexican pesos and Brazilian reales are going to be collected from AT&T (T), which recently dumped its America Movil  (AMX) shares to fight to the death in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay.

Assuming DirecTV's (DTV) profits remain constant at $2.9 billion per year for the next two decades, it will be difficult for Dish to survive as an independent company until 2024. It is likely this company will be acquired by America Movil or any other telecommunication services companies with at least a cool billion in annual profits.

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Whoever buys Dish Network will need to write a big fat check to Oprah Winfrey. And that makes her Queen no matter what Forbes says.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

TheStreet Ratings team rates DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC (DISCA) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

  • DISCA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 14.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 22.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Media industry and the overall market, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC is currently very high, coming in at 90.64%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.30% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 83.96% to $241.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.61%.
  • DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.97 versus $2.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($10.97 versus $2.97).

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