The following is excerpted from IRG's weekly stock report:
Media, Entertainment and Gaming
• According to a study done by Nikkei newspaper, Namco/Bandai, Sega and Capcom are all throwing their support behind Nintendo by increasing the number of distinct titles as well as the number of units ordered for games on Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) systems. Under the alliance, Namco/Bandai is reportedly coming up with some 115 games for the DS and Wii in 2007. The report also indicated that Sony could expect a 30 to 40 percent drop in orders from the Namco/Bandai, Sega and Capcom.
• Nintendo Co. announced its move to open its Wii game system to independent video-game developers. The company said it will allow hobbyists and game studios to create and sell downloadable Wii games with a tool called WiiWare. Gamers will be able to purchase the games through the console's Wii Shop channel starting in early 2008. Industry observers note that Nintendo may be adopting the strategy of Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), which deployed its XNA Game Studio tools that allow developers to design video games for its Xbox 360 console.
• According to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Full Speed Inc., a Japanese Internet consulting and advertising service company, has secured approval to list on the Exchange’s Mothers market. In its IPO, the company will offer 3,300 shares to the public, with 2,000 being newly issued shares and 1,300 shares currently held in private. The company will conduct book building for the IPO shares. Full Speed looks to generate 930.5 million yen (US$7.5 million) from the offering. For the current fiscal year through July, the company forecasts a group pretax profit of 800 million yen (US$6.4 million), net profit of 435 million yen (US$3.5 million), and revenue of 5 billion yen (US$40.5 million). Mizuho Investors Securities is the lead underwriter of the offer.
• An independent committee tasked by the Japanese government to introduce major changes in the country’s mobile sector disclosed that it looks to an increase in competition that would allow consumers to keep the same handset even if they change carrier. The head of the committee said that introducing handset portability immediately would be technically impossible given the differences in the technological systems of the carriers. The committee, however, indicated that it would be done in two or three years. Analysts are saying that the move, which is expected to be accepted by the authorities, would underscore the government’s aim to effect a radical change in the mobile market.
• KDDI Corp. (OTC:KDDIF) and Microsoft Corp.'s Japanese unit announced entering into an agreement that will see the two companies jointly providing corporate-use online software services in Japan. Under the alliance, companies can use the software services, known as SaaS, based on Microsoft's Windows platform via mobile and fixed telecommunication lines with personal computers and mobile terminals.
• Victor Co. of Japan [JVC], a Japanese electronics maker, announced its plan to leave the Japanese car audio market and focus on growing overseas markets. According to its spokesman, JVC's car audio business in Japan had been losing money and accounted for just 5 percent of the company's total car audio sales, even as its overall business is profitable and revenue is expanding. The Japanese car audio market has been declining in recent years as more cars now are released with brand-name audio systems. JVC plans to continue some domestic original equipment manufacturing operations and supply some products directly to car manufacturers. In earlier reports, JVC has been reported as considering a merger with Kenwood Corp.
• Verizon Business (NYSE:VZ) and SoftBank Telecom (OTCPK:SFTBF) jointly announced entering into a strategic alliance agreement that is seen as favoring the multinational customers of both companies doing business in Japan. The partnership is expected also to provide customers with access to networks and capabilities of each company. SoftBank Telecom is one of Japan's largest ICT (information and communication technology) solution companies. It has a nationwide fiber-optic network of more than 13,000 kilometers. Verizon Business owns and operates one of the most expansive IP backbone networks in the world, and provides the industry's best portfolio of global IP and mobile devices, services and solutions for business, government and education customers worldwide.
Disclaimer: IRG is not responsible for the accuracy of the news compiled within this article, which is based on publicly available information.