Rob Black's Media Market Roundup For May 8 (AQNT, NAPS, TWX, VCLK, YHOO)

by: Rob Black

The Wall Street Journal reports ValueClick (VCLK) and aQuantive (AQNT) came close to agreement on a merger in recent days. The talks highlight the attention being focused on the expanding market for online advertising and could portend more attempts at deal making to come.

Time Warner’s (NYSE:TWX) Paramount Pictures' "Mission: Impossible III" kicked off the summer movie season with a muted bang, selling $48 million of tickets in a domestic debut that was closely watched as an indicator of Tom Cruise's staying power and Paramount's effort to mount a turnaround. Despite a wall-to-wall publicity campaign that had Mr. Cruise jumping on top of vehicles and out of helicopters, the opening fell short of both "Mission: Impossible II" and the actor's last movie, "War of the Worlds."

ThinkEquity learned that Napster (NAPS) has hired a third-party software vendor to use its redirector platform to drive illegal peer-to-peer users to NAPS' revamped Web site. The firm reiterated the Buy and $7 target.

THQ Interactive’s (THQI) price target raised to $31 at Wedbush following in line 4th quarter results.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is set to introduce a long-delayed upgrade to its Web search advertising system, setting the stage for a face off with Web search leader Google later this year. The company is looking to encourage both new and existing corporate advertisers to start working with its rebuilt search marketing system in preparation for full introduction during 3rd quarter 2006.