Bloomberg News

Coinstar Profit Surges, to Buy Competing DVD Unit From NCR Corp.

February 07, 2012

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Coinstar Inc., owner of the Redbox movie-rental kiosks, said fourth-quarter profit more than doubled and that the company will buy the competing service operated by NCR Corp. Coinstar shares were halted.

Net income jumped to $31.5 million, or $1 a share, from $11.7 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier, which included a loss from discontinued operations, the Bellevue, Washington- based company said today in a statement. Analysts projected 65 cents, the average of 10 estimates. Sales rose 33 percent to $520.5 million, beating estimates of $498 million.

Coinstar agreed to purchase NCR’s DVD business for as much as $100 million, the companies said said today in a statement. Redbox raised prices in October, boosting the charge for a standard DVD by 20 percent to $1.20 per day.

Coinstar said earlier today it will join Verizon Communications Inc. in a venture to offer video streaming along with rentals from Redbox’s 35,400 kiosks. Redbox will take a 35 percent stake in the business, which will stream movies over the Internet to a variety of devices.

The company last week rejected Time Warner Inc.’s demand that Redbox wait 56 days before renting new Warner Bros. movie releases. Coinstar said it will get the videos from third-party suppliers and make them available as soon as they go on sale.

Redbox had waited 28 days to get videos from Warner under the previous deal. The unit still waits 28 days for DVDs from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures and News Corp.’s Fox. Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc.’s Paramount and Sony Corp., make their DVDs available for rental on the day of release.

Coinstar rose 1.8 percent to $50.56 before being halted with news pending. The shares have gained 11 percent this year.

--Editors: Rob Golum, Stephen West

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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