Redbox Can't Save Coinstar Anymore

Netflix (NAS: NFLX) may have signaled weakness in the streaming video market earlier this week, but now Redbox parent Coinstar (NAS: CSTR) is letting the market know that being one of the last remaining companies that still cares about renting out DVDs isn't such a sweet gig either.

Shares of Coinstar headed sharply lower after posting disappointing quarterly results.

Revenue climbed 22% to $532.2 million, propelled primarily by a 26% surge in its Redbox business. Unfortunately, analysts were holding out for $545 million in revenue. Adjusted earnings for continuing operations of $1.11 a share also fell short of Wall Street's target.

This may not seem like such a bad report, but keep in mind that Coinstar bumped the nightly prices of its DVD rentals higher by 20% back in October. It has also been adding new kiosks to its fleet of 38,500 disc-spewing automatons. Suddenly a 22% increase doesn't sound all that impressive.

There's little solace in Coinstar's guidance. Its forecast calling for core earnings from continuing operations of $4.60 a share to $4.90 a share may neatly sandwich Wall Street's $4.74 a share, but the $2.21 billion to $2.31 billion that it's projecting in revenue is weak.

Coinstar already rang up $1.1 billion in revenue through the first six months of the year, so at the low point of its outlook we're looking at revenue during the second half merely matching the first half. This seems pretty low for a company that will incorporate 6,200 DVD-renting kiosks that it acquired from NCR (NYS: NCR) later this year. There's also the Redbox Instant digital streaming service that Coinstar should be rolling out in cahoots with Verizon (NYS: VZ) this year.

Wall Street's top-line estimate of $2.28 billion is perched at the high end of the company's range.

Coinstar probably needs a second act at this point. Redbox revenue accounted for a whopping 86% of the company's business during the quarter. Why is this company still calling itself Coinstar? The namesake machines that turn jars of coins into gift certificates only saw its revenue climb 4% over the past year.

Coinstar is excited about the prospects of its Rubi coffee kiosks -- a machine that spits out Starbucks' (NAS: SBUX) Seattle's Best Coffee in brewed single servings -- but java vending is already a crowded market.

Knowing that revenue growth will begin to slow later this year, especially during the final quarter after last October's 20% rate hike is fully baked into the financials, doesn't give Coinstar a lot of time to complete the reinvention process.

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The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix and Starbucks. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Netflix, Coinstar, and Starbucks. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls on Starbucks. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been a Netflix subscriber and shareholder since 2002. He does not own shares in any of the other stocks in this story. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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