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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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ITV’s results were good – but they were hardly a transformation

Category : Business

ITV Studios was singled out for increasing revenue when it was ‘internal supply – money ITV was spending on itself

ITV’s results last week were unquestionably good and especially good for long-suffering shareholders. Revenues are up, costs are down, debt is paid down, cash is flowing and so are profits – Ebita £500m plus. Chairman Archie Norman and chief executive Adam Crozier – both complete outsiders to broadcasting and ITV, BBC take note – can justifiably take full credit for the company’s performance, which represents quite a turnaround in difficult economic conditions.

The strategy has been essentially the same as that pursued by their predecessors Charles Allen and Michael Grade – reduce ITV’s historic dependence on fickle TV advertising revenues by developing other revenue streams. That means developing online, on-demand, pay TV and, most importantly, the company’s content business ITV Studios. And, indeed, that is what Norman and Crozier claim to be doing with their “transformation” programme.

So much so that last week’s results were headlined “Delivering Growth Through Transformation”, with ITV Studios (ITVS) singled out for delivering a £100m increase in revenues, the lion’s share of the company’s overall increase in non-TV advertising revenue (or non-NAR revenue in the jargon) of £114m. That leaves ITVS delivering what is counted as fully £712m of non-NAR revenue; which is presented as evidence that the strategic objective of weaning the company off TV advertising (which is flat at £1.5bn) is well under way.

However, while there is no doubt ITV is now better-run and more profitable, a closer look at the figures raises questions about whether the “transformation” has thus far had much to do with this improvement. The bulk of the increase in ITVS revenues (£58m of the £100m) is an increase in “internal supply”.

In other words it is money (£350m in total) ITV is spending on itself – ITV channels buying shows from ITVS. All of which is funded by TV advertising, which makes presenting it as “non-NAR” revenue quite a semantic stretch. Look closer still and you will see that £33m of that £58m increase is accounted for by one programme – ITV Daybreak – moving into ITVS from another part of the company. In effect the UK production division of ITV Studios, still by some margin the most significant, has increased its non-ITV production by just £5m. And that also means that the increase (from 55% to 58% in the past year) in the share of ITV commissioning accounted for by ITVS – a key measure for the success of the transformation strategy – could be accounted for almost entirely by the internal transfer of the Daybreak commission.

In one important sense, of course, the overall strategy will be served by more in-house commissioning – since these will be programmes and formats ITV owns and can exploit internationally. But that is a very long game indeed unless you have a global hit like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? or Big Brother – and they are, by definition, rare.

There are more opportunities to go in-house as ITV looks to refresh Saturday evenings in the light of the gentle but probably significantratings decline of The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent (both currently independent commissions not owned by ITV); while more long-running returnable drama – think Mr Selfridge doing well around the world – would add to ITV’s commercial strength. And international production too will shortly start to make a bigger contribution if recent acquisitions in Europe and the US pay off. Although in-house commissions that offer greater potential long-term returns internationally, but which might carry greater risk in terms of short-term schedule performance, will no doubt continue to be avoided by ratings conscious commissioners.

ITV is looking better than it has done at any time since the Granada/Carlton merger that created the company back in 2004, but a significant drop in TV advertising spend – which, against most market expectation, hasn’t happened in spite of the parlous state of the economy – would still spoil the shareholders’ long-awaited party.

Film studio drops new homes plan

Category : Business, World News

A new planning application for the expansion of Pinewood Studios will not include houses, it is confirmed.

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THQ ([[THQI]] -5%), whose reverse split plans were met with a yawn today, says it has hired Jason Rubin, co-founder of game developer Naughty Dog, to be its President. The company adds it has hired media/gaming exec Jason Kay to be its Chief Strategy…

Category : Stocks

THQ (THQI -5%), whose reverse split plans were met with a yawn today, says it has hired Jason Rubin, co-founder of game developer Naughty Dog, to be its President. The company adds it has hired media/gaming exec Jason Kay to be its Chief Strategy Officer, and that Davis Davis, head of THQ’s Core Studios division, is leaving. (PR) (previous) Post your comment!

Read more: THQ ([[THQI]] -5%), whose reverse split plans were met with a yawn today, says it has hired Jason Rubin, co-founder of game developer Naughty Dog, to be its President. The company adds it has hired media/gaming exec Jason Kay to be its Chief Strategy…

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Having just announced it would begin selling ads for original content, Hulu says it will add 4 new original shows: We Got Next, The Awesomes, Don’t Quit Your Daydream, and Flow. Web video rivals Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Yahoo (YHOO) are…

Category : Stocks

Having just announced it would begin selling ads for original content, Hulu says it will add 4 new original shows: We Got Next, The Awesomes, Don’t Quit Your Daydream, and Flow. Web video rivals Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Yahoo (YHOO) are also stepping up their investments in original programming, to the slight consternation of studios and traditional TV networks. 1 comment!

Read more from the original source: Having just announced it would begin selling ads for original content, Hulu says it will add 4 new original shows: We Got Next, The Awesomes, Don’t Quit Your Daydream, and Flow. Web video rivals Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and Yahoo (YHOO) are…

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ISM International, Inc. (ISML: OTC Link) | ISM ACQUIRES INSTIGATOR STUDIOS

Category : World News

ISM International announces today that it has acquired Instigator Studios which produces motion pictures and TV commercials. “Instigator Studios takes pride in being “Guerilla Filmmakers”. Imagination, creativity and thinking “outside the box” are just of few of the attributes that set Instigator Studios apart from the rest, says Ray Martinez, Writer, Director and Producer of Once Upon a Time in Tampa, Repo Man, Bikini Monsters, Question of Ethics,

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U.S. consumers will watch 3.4B online videos involving paid content this year, and just 2.4B on physical media, estimates iSuppli. By contrast, 2011 saw 1.4B paid online views and 2.6B physical views. However, physical formats are expected to bring…

Category : World News

U.S. consumers will watch 3.4B online videos involving paid content this year, and just 2.4B on physical media, estimates iSuppli. By contrast, 2011 saw 1.4B paid online views and 2.6B physical views. However, physical formats are expected to bring in $11.1B in revenue in 2012, far above the $1.7B brought in by paid online video. Thus, the web’s cannibalization of the DVD market presents a huge challenge for studios, in spite of their growing online sales. Post your comment!

See original here: U.S. consumers will watch 3.4B online videos involving paid content this year, and just 2.4B on physical media, estimates iSuppli. By contrast, 2011 saw 1.4B paid online views and 2.6B physical views. However, physical formats are expected to bring…

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Wal-Mart’s (WMT) efforts to partner with studios to promote their UltraViolet platform for streaming DVD content could go nowhere fast, if a report that Wal-Mart will charge $2-$4/disc to make a DVD UltraViolet-capable is accurate. Says Dan Rayburn:…

Category : Stocks, World News

Wal-Mart’s (WMT) efforts to partner with studios to promote their UltraViolet platform for streaming DVD content could go nowhere fast, if a report that Wal-Mart will charge $2-$4/disc to make a DVD UltraViolet-capable is accurate. Says Dan Rayburn: “The studios are doing exactly what consumers don’t want, which is forcing them to pay multiple times for the same piece of content.” Apple (AAPL) must be pleased. 1 comment!

Originally posted here: Wal-Mart’s (WMT) efforts to partner with studios to promote their UltraViolet platform for streaming DVD content could go nowhere fast, if a report that Wal-Mart will charge $2-$4/disc to make a DVD UltraViolet-capable is accurate. Says Dan Rayburn:…

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Facebook IPO Puts Spotlight on Zynga

Category : Business

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet’s guest contributor program, which is separate from the company’s news coverage.

NEW YORK (Trefis) — Zynga is the leader in social gaming and is charging forward in the mobile gaming space by acquiring mobile gaming studios and launching new mobile games on iOS and Android. We know that almost all of Zynga’s revenues are generated by Facebook, but recently, after Facebook filed its S-1 for an IPO, it was revealed that Facebook depends on Zynga, too.

According to its S-1 filing, Zynga accounted for more than 12% of Facebook’s overall revenue in 2011. Facebook even explicitly listed its dependence on Zynga as a risk factor. Zynga competes primarily with Electronic Arts, Playdom which was recently acquired by Disney and other independent social gaming studios. New Games account for over 40% of Zynga’s $10.20 Trefis price estimate. Our price estimate for Zynga accounts for dilution due to stock options and restricted stock, which results in a deflated value….

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