2Q losses sock Gemstar stock

Net losses balloon to $954 mil

Gemstar-TV Guide Intl. shares tanked Thursday as the embattled tech and publishing company released preliminary, and dour, quarterly results.

Net losses ballooned to $954 million from $135 million the year before.

Revenue dropped 15% to $1.26 billion in the belated second-quarter financial report that still needs to be approved by the SEC.

The losses were due in large part to a writedown of the value of publisher TV Guide due to a slump in advertising. The print troubles pile on Gemstar’s failed patent litigation and questions regarding its accounting — issues that have driven the stock to record lows this year.

The shares, which risk being delisted by the Nasdaq, fell 10.34% to $2.90.

Gemstar, which is partly owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., has been nothing but a headache for the showbiz conglom of late. News Corp. has taken billions of dollars in charges to write down the value of its investment in the Pasadena company and tried, so far unsuccessfully, to eject chairman Henry Yuen.

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