Look Whose Stock Is On An Upswing
July 23, 2008 at 5:13 AM (PT)
And now from the stunning statistic department: The year's best-performing media stock belongs to none other than WARNER MUSIC GROUP.
No, really, it's true, writes THE NEW YORK POST.
As of yesterday's close, WMG shares are up 34% year-to-date, while the stock of every other company in its peer group is down. CBS shares are down 37%, for instance. TIME WARNER stock is off 12%, while DISNEY is down almost 6% through yesterday's close and GOOGLE's shares are off 31% this year. NEWS CORP. is off 32%.
Of course, WMG's stock-price gain is bittersweet. At just over $8 per share, the stock is off 72% from its all-time high of $29.48 since going public in MAY 2005. Moreover, WMG's growth comes off a much lower base than that of its peers and therefore any gains, however minute, would result in a larger percentage increase relative to the others.
"The music industry's bottoming is evidence that media stock valuations can get too low," said LAURA MARTIN, Senior media analyst at SOLEIL SECURITIES.
WMG's gains are good news, if only from a P.R.. perspective, for CEO EDGAR BRONFMAN JR., who is often derided in the press for the loss of market value and artists under his stewardship.
"It's fair to say that we aspire to be the best performing media stock in an 'up' market, too, but I'm proud of what the business has been able to accomplish in this challenging environment -- gaining market share and maintaining revenue," BRONFMAN told THE POST.