Crown Media Holdings shares surged more than 45% on Wednesday ($1.17
per share) to $3.72 each after financial analysis web site The Motley
Fool speculated that the parent of the Hallmark Channel could be poised
for a buyout.
Crown Media has taken it on the chin in recent days as ratings for its Martha Stewart programming block have been disappointing. But on The Motley Fool web site the company appears ripe for the taking.
In an article entitled "This Stock Could Be an Easy Double" Fool
scribe Jim Royal wrote that he felt a buyout coming, but even without
that prospect, its improving fundamentals should warrant a higher price.
Royal went on to note several developments that should be old news to Crown investors - the $1.1 billion recapitalization by
its largest debt and equity holder Hallmark Cards and the partnership
with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. But rather than harp on Martha's
dismal ratings performance
- average ratings are down between 50% and 79% during the Martha
programming block - Royal pointed to how the relationship allowed Crown
to ramp up ad rates 117% above last year.
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