This week’s release of Transformers could have several companies seeing green – from Viacom (VIA), the media company behind the film itself, to its promotional partners ranging from General Motors (GM) to Hasbro (HAS) to Burger King (BKC).
CNBC’s Julia Boorstin, reporting from Hollywood, says Transformers has the chance to be a “huge opportunity for growth” for Viacom, which recently acquired the Dreamworks movie studio (Dreamworks and Paramount co-produced the movie).
Over 33% of Viacom’s revenues come from Dreamworks and Paramount but the studios account for a much smaller part of the parent company’s earnings. Investors are hoping Transformers could become a strong franchise for Viacom with sequels, DVD sales and more promotional tie-ins down the line if it is successful.
Transformers was budgeted at about $150 million, Julia says. Compare that to the roughly $250 million that it cost to make Spider-Man 3 and it almost feels like an art house film instead of a summer blockbuster. With no big movie stars and plenty of help with the marketing, Viacom is somewhat hedged against downside even if the movie flops – but the guys aren’t sold that it’s a reason to own a stake in the media conglomerate itself.
Eric Bolling says he’d rather get long Discovery (DISCA) for its original content.
Jeff Macke thinks Disney (DIS) is the best trade and GM’s product placement in Transformers is a “non-factor” for Viacom stock.
Guy Adami likes Viacom for its boss, Sumner Redstone, but wouldn’t get long in front of the movie.
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Trader disclosure: On July 3rd 2007, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders Macke Owns (DIS); Najarian Owns (DNDN), (ERIC), (HLT), (JNPR (CBH), (IMMR); Najarian Closed Out Of (BIDU) Today; Bolling Owns (DIS), (T), (XOM), Natural Gas, Corn