EA, Netflix Put On Chopping Block for Nasdaq-100 Delistings

Digital media companies take a hit in latest round of Nasdaq-100 revisions

on December 17 2012 12:51 PM

Nasdaq OMX (Nasdaq: NDAQ) has announced its annual revisions to the Nasdaq-100, removing prominent media companies Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: EA) from the list of the 100 largest nonfinancial companies. The re-listing is set to go into effect on Dec. 24.

Striking EA from the list leaves Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI) as the only video game publisher on the Nasdaq 100 Index.

EA and Netflix join the BlackBerry production company Research In Motion Limited (Nasdaq: RIMM) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq:GMCR) in the group of companies dropped from the list.

"Our objective re-ranking process ensures the Nasdaq-100 remains a relevant investable index that is the underlying benchmark for about 7,100 products in 22 countries with a notional value of about $1 trillion," Nasdaq Executive Vice President John L. Jacobs said in a statement.

EA shares dropped as much as 40 percent in June of this year, with many at Wall Street blaming the poor performance of its massive multiplayer online, or MMO, game “Star Wars: The Old Republic,” which was first released in December 2011. Despite positive reception from game critics, “The Old Republic” failed to recoup the hefty investment that EA made to produce the game -- over $200 million spent over the course of six years of development -- or truly rival Activision Blizzard’s flagship MMO “World of Warcraft,” which has also been shedding users since its all-time high in 2010.

But EA faces an additional problem since it lacks heavy-hitting blockbuster titles such as “Call of Duty” that Activision has managed to turn into one of the most successful entertainment franchises in history. In late August, EA began to face buyout rumors after the New York Post reported that it was "quietly exploring" private equity interest after its stock fell to around $13 per share.

Netflix, meanwhile, has suffered its own doubts as the company’s founders and board members continue to battle activist investor Carl Icahn for control over the company.

EA shares rose more than 1 percent during Monday trading, rising as high as $15.47 shortly after noon. Netflix shares jumped slightly higher, reaching $94.92 in early afternoon trading.

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