An Old Dog Learns New Media Tricks

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You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Just ask household name Dolby Laboratories (NYS: DLB) . In the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, the media technologist saw non-GAAP earnings nudging up to $0.76 per share -- a $0.01 year-over-year increase -- despite lower total sales and a home entertainment market on crutches.

Media playback on mobile devices play a large part in Dolby's success. In this quarter, consumer electronics revenue overall fell 15% year over year, but mobile licenses propelled the "other" segment to 26% growth.

That strength won't go away anytime soon. QUALCOMM (NAS: QCOM) just built support for the high-end Dolby Digital Plus surround sound platform right into its next-generation Snapdragon chips for mobile devices. That makes it even easier for device builders to support the Dolby standard, since it's part of the processor out of the box.

And if you thought that this longtime Stock Advisor recommendation would be doomed when the DVD player goes the way of the dodo bird, you're sadly mistaken. These technologies are an important part of the Blu-ray successor, but more importantly ship in nearly every digital video service of note. Netflix (NAS: NFLX) supports Dolby Surround, as do the Apple (NAS: AAPL) iTunes service and Amazon.com (NAS: AMZN) On Demand. Most recently, Time Warner joined the party with Dolby sound in the much-vaunted HBO Go platform. Wherever you turn in the digital media landscape, Dolby stands ready to reap royalties.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of QUALCOMM, Apple, and Amazon.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Dolby, Netflix, Apple, and Amazon. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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