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Judge David Ryan's Blog

Judge David Ryan • Location: Natick, MA
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The HSX Report -- 5/21/07
May 21st, 2007 10:29AM

Hello and welcome to the inaugural HSX Report. Which is a terrible name... so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to send them along or post them in the Witness Box. Second, I forgot to mention this last week, but this recurring blog column is the kinda sorta half-debut of Cinema Verdict, our new site devoted to theatrical films, which will be fully and properly launched in the very near future. At that point, this blog will move over there to its permanent home.

Well, with the housework out of the way.... let's look at the weekend. Shrek the Third, predictably, led the pack for the weekend, taking in $122M in box office. Going into the weekend, I thought that SHRK3 was undervalued even at H$302 (it had been trolling around the H$300 mark for a couple of weeks) -- glad to see I was right in that. The H$32 adjust made for a lot of profit, and buoyed the values of both Shrek 4 (SHRK4) and -- wait for it -- my Saturday IPO recommendation, Puss in Boots (PUSNB) PUSNB leaped as high as H$76 on Sunday after its IPO, making for an impressive 25% gain had you followed my investment advice. (And you did... right?) Of course the profit-taking has begun in earnest, with SHRK3 dropping H$8 per share and PUSNB back down to a more realistic H$65. PUSNB remains a hold -- for now -- while you're probably okay giving up your SHRK3. With Pirate Weekend coming up fast, our beloved ogre might have a problem hitting $350M in four weeks.

Free money note: the Calendar is listing two securities that are delisting Tuesday due to a lack of a theatrical release: The Hard Easy (HRDEZ) and The Mistress of Spices (MSPIC). Short them to the max right now. It's small change, but it's free money.

The Girl from IPOnima

Moving on to today's IPOs, we have a tough-to-call pair on our hands:

(1) Mr. Peabody and Sherman (MRPBS) -- H$25
Yet another Rocky & Bullwinkle character gets the cinematic treatment -- this time, it's the smart dog and his pet boy who gave us back-door history lessons and bad jokes. Well... we all know how well the other R&B films turned out. And Peabody/Sherman is a thinner joke than the rest. On the other hand, it's got Stuart Little director Rob Minkoff behind it. I project this out as a kids' film at best, but kids's films can make money. This one's a gamble, and a relatively expensive one at H$25. You might want to wait and see with this one.

(2) Ponyo on a Cliff (PONYO) -- H$5
No, it's not an REM song. It's the latest animated feature from Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki's only real commercial success in the US was with Spirited Away, and even that only made $10M. The follow-up, Howl's Moving Castle, didn't even make $5M. Miyazaki's films are beautiful and artistic, but right now, they're not very commercial. Still, if it's any good, and Disney decides to give it a good, hard push, I could see it making $15M. And a 300% return over a year or so isn't a bad return. Buy.

My name is Bond... StarBond

I don't invest in the StarBond market much, because it's too difficult to arbitrage. However, one recommendation came up in the Witness Box, and it happens to be a value buy that I spotted myself. It's Shia LaBoeuf (SLABE). LaBoeuf has two high-gross films -- I, Robot and Constantine -- coming off his TAG, with three potential $100M+ films -- Surf's Up, Transformers, and the fourth Indiana Jones film -- waiting in the wings. Right now, his bond is at a hugely cheap $38. Buy, buy, buy!

Coming tomorrow -- a look at this season's blockbusters, and some potential for huge profits therein....


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