The Fall Blockbuster
At the end of trading today, Blockbuster will release its third-quarter report -- and it's expected to be a downer. Notes the Associated Press this morning: "The Dallas-based company already has said it is comfortable with analyst estimates projecting a third-quarter loss of 16 cents per share on revenue of $1.27 billion." Which is bad, but it could have been worse; this time last year, it lost 20 cents per share. Someone with whom I spoke last night who knows Blockbuster very, very well says the chain's looking good -- and that the stores will be its savior, just you wait. Though maybe not the rental ATM.
The Motley Fools, looking into their widescreen crystal balls for bits, offer their own analysis of CEO Jim Keyes and company's fortunes with prognostications ranging from boom to inevitable bankruptcy: "I believe in Keyes, but he may have taken on a mission impossible here. I hear the Indiana Jones theme in the background as Blockbuster's turnaround races against the clock." But here's a possible look at the company's future: In Florida, it's testing a new pricing program with three different levels of membership -- ones that allow rentals by the day, by the week or by the month, by the way. --Robert Wilonsky