Media stocks -- by and large -- had a big year, more than outperforming other industries.
The Dow Jones U.S. Broadcasting and Entertainment Index is now up nearly 40% versus a year ago to around 667.54 at the Dec. 26 market close. By way of comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Index has risen 6.7% to just over 13,114; the S&P 500 is up 14% to just under 1420.
A number of major media companies have made gains. Walt Disney grew 32% higher to $49.85; Comcast is 54% higher to $37.30; Time Warner, up 31% at $47.48; and News Corp., a 47% improvement to $24.91 a share.
Similarly, CBS is up 27% from a year ago to $37.33 a share as of close Dec. 26. Discovery Communications grew at a leading 58% rate to $62.95.
Many pure TV program distributors gained: Time Warner Cable improved 52% to $96.05; Charter was up 32% to $73.24; and Dish Network gained 25% to $34.94.
Other media companies also scored: Belo Corp is up 21% to $7.53; Scripps Network Interactive increased 30% to $56.59; AMC Networks gained 32% to $49.61. Some of the lesser-performing players: Viacom grew 13% to $52.69 a share. DirecTV climbed 13% to $49.57; and Sinclair Broadcast Group is up 11% to 12.54.
Newer media players -- like Netflix -- had a rough-and-tumble year -- with its stock rising to over $133 a share mid-year. But year-to-year, it still gained 28% to $90.66 versus where its stock closed on Dec. 26, 2011.