Friday, November 13, 2009

Blockbuster -- Prepare for Shrapnel

Blockbuster (BBI) gives every appearance of dead man walking. The latest earnings release celebrates their refinancing which was done at loan shark rates. Can they make the vig regularly. In the first nine months they could not break $2 Billion. The arithmetic is all wrong. So when it explodes what kind of financial shrapnel should we expect?

1. Commercial leases in thousands of locations will go dark. Other locations will stagger along. This may prove to be a battle of financial cripples. Busted commercial real estate investors arguing with a busted tenant. There will be comical moments.
2. Back blast into the movie business. Who will control the stock of titles in the inventory that suddenly go on deep discount. Watch for pilferage and larger than usual amounts of theft.
3. Will the movie producers cut off Blockbuster. As you slide down the slippery slope of bankruptcy you start to delay payments. Will your key suppliers cut you off and put you out of your misery?