Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the Games Begin

The 2010 Winter Olympics begin to night in Vancouver, Canada. We set out to find companies that benefit from staging the Olympics games. There are the obvious sports equipment and apparel companies like Nike (NKE: NYSE) that uses such sporting events as a backdrop for brand building and sales. Nike might seem interesting to some investors as the shares are trading at 15.2 times forward earnings and the current dividend yield is 1.7%.

Advertising agencies and the broadcasters such as NBC, which is owned by General Electric (GE: NYSE) through its NBC Universal unit. In early December 2009, Comcast (CMCSA: Nasdaq) announced it is buying a majority stake in NBC Universal. The right to broadcast the Olympics events typically triggers advertising sales. The Olympics itself has found sponsorship a tough sales this year as several major advertisers have found other media more cost effective.

The Vancouver Olympics is among the first in recent years to sell out tickets. Ticket sales have been handled by Ticketmaster, which merged with Live Nation year ago. The combination now called Live Nation Entertainment (LYV: NYSE) shows some negative historic earnings because of accounting for the merger. However, Ticketmaster has a strong track record for innovation that continues to win customers and generate sales.

Behind the scenes there are a number of smaller communications and logistics vendors that are vital in making the Olympics a memorable experience for those who attend and a thrilling televised event for those who stay at home. Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE: NYSE) is exclusive telecommunications provider for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The stock is trading at 10.8 times forward earnings and has a very compelling dividend yield of 5.9%. Bell Canada did cut the dividend in 2008, but increased it again in 2009.

Let the games begin!


Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

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