Written by Rebecca Lipman
A lot of fun was had tracking The Harry Potter Index when it was still relevant. Alas, we move on, and now set our sights on what promises to be called The Hunger Games Index.
The highly acclaimed young-adult book series helped push up the share price of Scholastic Corp. (SCHL), the publisher, 13.8% on Thursday. The company reported the books fueled better-than-expected sales for the quarter. The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast.
Scholastic was similarly boosted by sales of Harry Potter books when they were first published, and saw higher sales that coincided with new movie releases. The Hunger Games is also planning its first of three movie releases on March 23rd. Will the pattern repeat?
Let the Hunger Games Begin
Movie releases open the product - and revenue streams - to a wider range of people. The series already has a large following of young girls, older women, and even men above the age of 25. And consider parents who go with their children to see the films, or boyfriends tagged along with their excited significant others. Maybe they also like the story line and buy the books. Or not, but they have still purchased a movie ticket.
And movie companies love sequels. The Hunger Games is a trilogy. Having seen one movie in a series basically warms the theater seats for the next one.
Then there's the merchandise that grows out of the franchise. Costumes for Halloween, picture books, Scene It and other board games, video games, jewelry, shirts and watches with the story's symbol (a bird with an arrow) and famous quotes ("May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor") printed on. Stickers, hats, you name it.
The main character is also a wiz at archery - This author wouldn't be surprised if archery ranges across the country, and the retailers that sell archery supplies, saw an uptick in sales from teenage girls to women in their mid-thirties.
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in market cap over the last two years for the stocks mentioned below.
Business Section: Investing Ideas
But back to the stock market - 'Harry Potter' made many firms a lot of money, even after JK Rowling got her cut and became richer than the Queen of England.
So what can author Suzanne Collins do for your portfolio? Here are some ideas of stocks that may benefit - the list is largely a reproduction of ideas used in The Harry Potter Index - meaning companies related to the franchise that can capture some of its success in the market.
So, do you think the following stocks will get a helpful boost from the Hunger Games? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
1. Scholastic Corporation (Nasdaq:SCHL): Operates as a children's publishing, education, and media company primarily in the United States. Scholastic has the exclusive United States publishing rights to The Hunger Games book series. Sales of series are historically higher with the release of movies.
2. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN): Operates as an online retailer in North America and internationally. Similar to Scholastic, the company may report an increase in revenue based on site traffic for the book, as well as book sales.
3. Hasbro Inc. (NYSE:HAS): Engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of games and toys. Hasbro had been awarded the rights to Harry potter trading card games, role-playing games, trading cards, candy and youth electronics. This includes Clue - The Harry Potter addition. Will it also take on The Hunger Games?
4. Mattel Inc. (NYSE:MAT): Engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of various toy products worldwide. The doll company is creating barbie dolls inspired by Hunger Game characters. Mattel also produced the Harry Potter Scene It, plush toys and action figures - why not do the same with The Hunger Games.
5. Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF): Engages in the motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, new channel platforms, and digital distribution activities. Lions Gate is the film studio releasing the Hunger Games films. Pre-screenings of film were given positive, if not glowing, reviews.
6. IMAX Corporation (Nasdaq:IMAX): Operates as an entertainment technology company worldwide. Many diehard fans will be eager to see the film many times, including on an IMAX screen.
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Disclosure: Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above.
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