Why Central European Media Shares Fell

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Central European Media Enterprises (NASDAQ: CETV  ) were picking up mostly static today, falling as much as 14% on a disappointing earnings report.

So what: Because of a non-cash impairment charge of $522.5 million, the European broadcaster posted a loss of $494.2 million for the quarter. Revenue declined 8.5% to $253.3 million as the TV ad market became weaker because of the sluggish European economy. Including the impairment charges, CME, as the company is known, posted a $6.96 per share loss for the year. In his comments, CEO Adrian Sarbu noted the tough economic climate and said, "Challenging times require bold actions: increasing advertising prices and carriage fees."

Now what: Considering the transition of advertising to media such as the Internet and now mobile devices, it's unclear if the company will be able to sustain the proposed price increases. The European economy still seems at least six months away from shifting into recovery, and CME needs the macroeconomic environment to improve for it to start turning a profit again. I'd stay away from this one, especially with more potential goodwill writedowns on the way.

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