Lack of Guidance Pounds TV Guide Stock


Gemstar stock took a beating in the days between Feb. 22 and March 2, dropping 19% ($1.05 per share) to $4.45 each after the interactive programming guide giant said it would no longer provide financial guidance to Wall Street, because new initiatives it is undertaking would make forecasts more difficult.

That revelation sent Gemstar stock reeling — it fell 11% on Feb. 24, the day after the announcement in conjunction with its fourth-quarter earnings report — all the more disappointing, because Gemstar’s financial results were considerably stronger than the year-earlier period.

Gemstar reported net income of $1.6 million ($0 per share) in the quarter, reversing a $491.4 million loss ($1.18 per share) in the same period in 2003. Revenue was up 5.8% to $186.6 million from $176.3 million in the prior year.

While its publishing segment continued to struggle — revenue was down 7.2% in the quarter — its cable and satellite division flourished, with revenue up 44% to $64.3 million. Cash flow at the cable division nearly tripled to $20.3 million from $7.6 million.