Reports of Blockbuster's death are (somewhat) exaggerated

Jonathan Berr

Blockbuster Inc. (BBI) has gone through more lives than most cats. It reinvents itself more often than Madonna and is viewed by some as more washed up than Mickey Rourke before "The Wrestler." Yet despite everything from Netflix Inc. (NFLX) to cable on-demand services to 99-cent rental services, it has survived. And the Dallas-based company is likely to survive a "going concern" letter in its 10-K which is causing its shares to tank.

Granted, the skepticism about the Dallas-based firm has some justification. It lost $374.1 million last year as the economy tumbled. Blockbuster has also made some bone-headed decisions, including a disastrous move to end late fees a few years ago that cost the company dearly. As of January, Blockbuster had 4,585 stores -- many of which seem gargantuan. That number seems way too high, particularly for a business that's migrating to the internet.

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