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  • Sparton: Ready to Cash In on the Naval Arms Race [View article]
    Chinese defence spending to rise to £56bn
    Increase of 12.7% likely to fuel rivals' concerns about growing military strength of China
    Mar 5, 2011. 01:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • United PanAm Financial: How MBO 'Take-Unders' Freeze Out Shareowners [View article]
    You should have received a ballot but likely didn't like so many other shareholders. This was due to the fact the company paid for only snail mail and your shares were probably held in street name and your broker (or your broker's service) took its sweet time in sending the proxy through.

    What is most outrageous about this is the following. This long delay is a common occurrence on wall street with proxy delivery. Hence the the normal obligation for registered public companies to post such items on EDGAR. But because UPFC was deregistered by Bron and the board a few years ago, 8-k and proxy filings with SEC did not take place.
    Bron knew [by his insistence in the negotiations of the unique exclusions in definition of calculating the "minority"] and the Board should have known that there would likely be many shareholders in your shoes, who would get their proxy late, either after the meeting and most assuredly without sufficient time to make an informed vote decision. These would all be non-votes and/or abstains. Normally in most company deals, those shares would have counted in the Minority (denominator) and thus the majority threshold needed to cram down this 'take-under' would have been higher. In the instance of UPFC the Bron demanded and the Board agreed to exclude all these shares in the count and made the majority of the 'minority' vote easier to achieve.

    Had these 'votes' been included the denominator, you can bet there would have been more time allowed for proxies to arrive and be voted and greater effort made that votes were collected. While the voting tally is being subpoenaed by the class action attorneys, IMO the deal barely passed and would certainly have failed if the definitions of "minority" were what a normal person would expect.

    That is non-votes and abstains would be counted in the minority and the votes of mgmt and other participants in the successor private company would not be included in the minority and toward cramming the deal down. (yes amazingly management's shares were not treated the same as Bron's and were counted!)
    Mar 3, 2011. 09:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Amazon's Prime Streaming Will Disrupt Netflix [View article]
    Dish Network is trying to secure rights from its content partners to offer its own over-the-top video services.
    Mar 1, 2011. 12:31 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix Is Cooked; Get Out of Amazon and Coinstar As Well [View article]
    Blo - if those numbers are indeed correct (and I am not sure that many will really cancel rather than maintain both subs) then, while relatively small 'dent' in total subscribers is quite a large blow to number of expected net NEW subscribers - the key number for current expectations on NFLX.
    Mar 1, 2011. 08:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix Is Cooked; Get Out of Amazon and Coinstar As Well [View article]
    I think we share the same sentiment, not differing ones. I was just making the point that CSTR MUST find a partner in order to survive the squeeze from both sides - a better capitalized buyer of Blockbuster kiosk business and - the growing market share of view-it-now options of streaming and VOD
    Mar 1, 2011. 08:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 7 Reasons Why Netflix Will Soundly Beat Amazon in Online Video [View article]
    Amazon does not have to 'beat' Netflix for NFLX stock price and market valuation to become more rationale. The emergence of any competition from such a large competitor either slows down Netflix subscriber growth or compresses Netflix margins or a combination of both. Neither were baked into NFLX valuation. IMO the full ramifications or 'cost' of this emerging competition is not yet fully priced into NFLX stock price either. Various scenarios vs Amazon, IMO none of them good for NFLX valuation give present stock price levels and analyst expectations.

    1) AMZN announces expanded content offerings above their small current offerings.
    2) NFLX pays up and further expands its offerings, further compressing NFLX margins.
    3) Subscriber price competition emerges
    Feb 28, 2011. 02:19 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix Is Cooked; Get Out of Amazon and Coinstar As Well [View article]
    In order to survive the squeeze to come from buyer of Blockbuster in the kiosk space and the growing market share of view-it-now options of streaming and VOD, Coinstar/Redbox has to partner with someone. What if it is not Amazon? Then there is 3rd entrant in the 'war'.
    Feb 23, 2011. 08:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time to Short Netflix? [View article]
    You make the point that high short interest exacerbates rallies from good news and cushions declines from bad news. Fair enough. But before the 4/21 earnings announcement, which in a stock like this has as much chance of missed expectations vs. met or exceeded expectations, if not more, what possible news is good for this company that is likely before 4/21?

    new content - huge costs (bad news not good);
    new distribution platform (haven't they pretty much saturated that?);
    weakened US net neutrality (kills either margin or user experience and expected subscriber growth)
    subscriber pricing increase (kills expected subscriber growth); subscriber pricing decrease (disaster for this co);
    new int'l market entry (embedded competition, no net neutrality, no brand = lower margins and high upfront costs not in current earnings expectations );
    secondary stock offering; (horrible for you and other short squeezers; without price decline - did value/subscriber really have further reason to go up? )
    acquisition of blockbuster (no thought on whether this is good/bad)
    Feb 23, 2011. 08:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Amazon's Prime Streaming Will Disrupt Netflix [View article]
    Your article highlights several reasons why the expected 50MM subscribers for NFLX in 5 years is less and less likely to be achieved at current Netflix operating margin levels, if at all.
    Feb 23, 2011. 06:41 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why It May Finally Be Time to Short Netflix [View article]
    While it probably doesn't matter to you or most NFLX subscribers - those DVD releases you are accessing aren't 'new'. Netflix has a delay window they are subject to.
    Feb 23, 2011. 11:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who Should Buy Blockbuster? [View article]
    I don't think author appreciates the point of bankruptcy filing and now the section 363 auction taking place. Blockbuster's assets are being auctioned off to highest bidder. There need not be any debt involved. NFLX raising money for an acquisition of subscribers like this via a secondary stock offering is one of the reasons I feel it is inevitable NFLX will be doing a secondary (needed content purchases are another). NFLX could bid for the Blockbuster online assets (subscriber base) at a price very attractive to the BK estate and lenders and still find the purchase enormously accretive as long as market continues to greatly value (greatly overvalue) each NFLX subscriber.
    Feb 22, 2011. 07:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Just One Stock: Come for the Real Estate; Stick Around for Popcorn and Flicks [View article]
    Chris - your comment above implies that you might not be aware of Reading's announced plans to auction its MOST VALUABLE undeveloped parcel - Burwood Sq - in Melbourne Aus. Substantial detail on this parcel and Reading's plans of sale can be found at my article at

    Better yet see Reading's sales teaser memorandum at

    Also you may want to check out more recent SA articles on additional growth and progress RDI has been making in the rest of its business at

    Substantial Debt Forgiveness at Reading International Should Boost Q4 Results

    that then was confirmed in

    Continued Growth Verified in Reading International's Q3 Results

    As for use of proceeds, that remains to be seen but I do know RDI has SEVEN other undeveloped properties in addition to Burwood Sq in various stages of adding value. Proceeds likely will be used to complete or bring those parcels on stream and into cash flow generation before stock buyback. But we will see. If RDI price does not respond substantially to Burwood Sq sale then perhaps stock buyback would be more compelling. The argument will certainly be made at Reading's annual meeting in May in Los Angeles. You should come and make your case.
    Feb 21, 2011. 03:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reading International: Cashing in on Australia [View article]
    For some time, due to changes in Reading’s International’s web hosting, the URL link to Reading Int’l’s Burwood Information Memorandum (the sales "teaser" referred to in article, above) had been not working. The link is again functional and found on Reading’s website under the Real Estate – News tab at A direct link to the pdf file is
    Feb 17, 2011. 07:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Short or Long? Delving Into Netflix Financials [View article]
    Milkweed - You provide another excellent example of the content cost headwinds facing NFLX that I have commented about elsewhere. DIS price increase yesterday on simply DVD's to CSTR and NFLX is but another small example. Content providers want and will get a greater piece of the action that NFLX has been skimming with its upfront lock down of prices and subsequent subscriber growth. Further the content cost competition only rises the more streaming offerings that are made available. Yesterday - though it has been said before - CSTR execs talked of partnering soon with a streaming offering. Very curious to see who the partner is.

    While I don't disagree with your much smaller subscriber number scenario as being a possibility, at present valuation for NFLX, I don't even have to go anywhere near this doomsday viscous cycle. However, I will point out something that just came up this week that may put again another small crimp in that subscriber growth or incremental margin on subscriber growth. Apple announced that apps on its platform have to comply with a 30% profit sharing to be distributed over Itunes. Wasn't it Netflix being one of the most popular apps in the Apple universe that popped NFLX up another billion or two in valuation a while ago because its contribution to subscriber growth. Well those subscribers are looking to generate a whole lot less than $7.99/month or don't include them in the headcount to get to 50 million.
    Feb 17, 2011. 09:28 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tuesday: A Good Day to Short the Cinema [View article]
    Not opining on whether Carmike is a good short at these price levels, I do want to comment on your quote blasting the theater industry as a whole: "Theaters are obviously not the best industry to be in, with the digital commoditization of video media due to the likes of Netflix (NFLX)"

    The digital commoditization of video media is not a replacement for movie theaters, its just another form or way accessing in-home entertainment. The out-of-home box office first release is essential to create buzz and demand for SUBSEQUENT in-home video use. Studios receive 45-65% of the box office revenue as film rents. They are not going to kill the golden goose that gives both up front and drives back-end home video cash flows.

    Movie exhibition is a stable cash flow business that is modestly (with a near-term add-on from adding 3D into the mix) growing per unit. Overall worldwide movie attendance has been and remains stable to up. US Movie attendance has been fairly stable, averaging between 1.2 billion and 1.4 billion admissions annually since 1994. (Source: National Association of Theatre Owners [NATO]) Over the same period of time, international admissions have grown decently. During a >15-year stretch since 1994, there has not yet been secular decline in movie attendance, despite higher ticket prices, higher concession prices, the initial advent of home video technology and its several technological 'breakthroughs' migrating from tape to dvd and now digital streaming.

    Going out to a movie remains one of the least expensive forms of out-of-home entertainment available. Compare a pair of movie tickets + concessions to same at football, basketball, broadway, comedy club or other form of entertainment. "Date night" is not going away in the long run and it is the quality of movie product is what drives attendance in the short run.
    Feb 16, 2011. 08:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment