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Could MGM live to die another day?

17-Nov-2002 • Die Another Day

Yahoo are reporting that "Die Another Day" can make or break MGM`s finances this year.

MGM shares had been on a roll, hitting $23.25 in January, before a trio of flops and a slump in media stocks sent the shares to a $9 low unseen in four years.

Since early October, however, the shares of Santa Monica based MGM have been reborn, rising 60 percent to trade above $14 on Thursday, which financial analysts attribute to market bets the new 007 flick will be a box office hit.

But studio bosses and Wall Street analysts are also focused on the millions of dollars that roll in from sales of Bond DVDs, videos, games and TV licensing of old Bond films.

"We`re pretty confident. We`ve had a lot of screenings, and the consensus is this is one of the biggest and best ever," said MGM President Chris McGurk. But from early showings in Los Angeles the general comment is that "Die Another Day" tops the last, 1999`s "The World is Not Enough" and fan interest online is hot - even though MGM tried to close fan sites earlier in the year.

In the unlikely event that Bond is a flop like "Windtalkers," the stock will likely sink again. But if it is a modest hit, then MGM and its shareholders have survived 2002`s first-half stinkers and lived to see another, brighter day, analyst said.

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