"Slumdog Millionaire" was the belle of the ball, and Sean Penn surprised some by taking the Best Actor award for his performance in "Milk." Another memorable Academy Awards (thanks, Hugh Jackman!) is behind us, but these companies' stocks might keep the Oscar buzz going.
1. Time Warner (TWX). Time Warner struck gold when "Slumdog Millionaire" won eight awards, including Best Picture. Not only that, it also cashed in when "The Dark Knight" pulled in the award for Best Supporting Actor, thanks to Heath Ledger's incredible performance. Time Warner is currently spinning off its cable television unit, Time Warner Cable (TWC), so it'll be interesting to see how that move affects the stock, currently at $7.
2. Viacom (VIA). "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" racked up 13 nominations, but Viacom's baby didn't come home with any of the major awards. Sure, it won for art direction and makeup, but that's not much comfort considering the hype the movie received. Viacom has seen its profit drop recently, and even MTV is having trouble getting great ratings like it did back in the day. The stock is currently trading at $16.
3. General Electric (GE). One of the biggest surprises of the night was Sean Penn taking the best actor award for "Milk" over Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler." GE owns the distribution company behind the film, and it's holding on for some good news. There are rumors GE will have to cut its dividend, and if that happens, the stock might drop even further below its current $8 price tag.
4. Walt Disney (DIS). "Wall-E" might have been marketed for kids, but it seems like everyone and their mother saw this movie. That's good news for Disney. Not only that, Disney owns ABC, which aired the Oscars, and early numbers show that the ratings were up a notch from last year. All good news for a stock trading at $17, its current 52-week low.
5. Winmark (WINA). A lot of beautiful dresses graced Oscar's red carpet, though most were way too expensive for most Americans' budgets -- in this economy, who can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a dress? Why not wait until the Hollywood elite get sick of them and chuck them to the curb? That's what consignment stores like Winmark are all about: the hope that Oscar fans will come hunting for last year's fashions at a steep discount. Look at Penelope Cruz, who won Best Supporting Actress. She was wearing a vintage Balmain dress made from 60-year-old Parisian silk! Speaking of discounts, Winmark's stock hasn't been at $10 since 2003 -- it might be a good opportunity.
6. Regal (RGC) and Cinemark (CNK). How many times last night did you say to yourself, "If this movie is that good, I definitely need to see it on the big screen!" These two movie-theater stocks are hoping people will go check out some of the big winners they missed the first time around. Regal's fourth-quarter earnings jumped 30%, and the stock is trading at $9, while Cinemark is trading at $8.
Jennifer Openshaw, author of "The Millionaire Zone," is co-founder and president of WeSeed, whose mission is to enable people to discover the stock market in their everyday lives through their passions, their fashion, their careers, their kids, and the brands they know and love. Her empowering advice, which helps everyday Americans do more with what they have, has been seen on Oprah, Dr. Phil, The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, and Nightline. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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