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Media Firm Stock Declines in 2005

Hollywood Reporter laments traditional media's challenging year -- Media stocks should pick up the pace in 2006, many Wall Street analysts said. Considering their performance in 2005, though, it is an easy comparison.

Of the major entertainment conglomerates, only Sony Corp. is up for the year. The others have not only fallen but also underperformed -- by a large margin -- the broader indexes.

With one more trading day left this year, the newest publicly traded, high-profile movie company, DreamWorks Animation, for example, is off 34.2 percent. The company was dogged by such high expectations for DVD sales of "Shrek 2" that the merely stellar sales numbers resulted in a depressed stock and an informal investigation into the company by federal regulators. The stock has yet to recover.

Shares of the Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc. and News Corp. are suffering more than 10 percent drops for the year, while Time Warner Inc. is off 9.6 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average is about flat.

For those who sought outsized profits in the entertainment sector this year, they would have done well to look to the Internet. Shares of Google Inc. have climbed 118 percent during the year and Netflix Inc. is up 121 percent, making the latter the best-performing issue on The Hollywood Reporter/Bloomberg 50 Entertainment Stock Index.

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