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Getty's Stock Falls After Pixel Purchase

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In April, Getty Images acquired Pixel Images Holdings Limited, the Irish parent company of Stockbyte and Stockdisc, for $135 million. Most of the content licensed under the Stockbyte and Stockdisc brands through a worldwide network of distributors is already available on www.gettyimages.com, with the remainder to be added by midyear.

Despite an aggressive acquisition strategy over the past 18 months, its holdings now include Photonica, Digital Vision, Medio Images and iStockphoto, the company recently lost standing on Wall Street. Two weeks following the Pixel Images deal announcement, Getty reported first-quarter revenues that were 13 percent higher than first-quarter 2005 figures, plus a 22 percent increase of net cash to $66 million. Although these numbers met the company's internal projections, financial analysts had forecast more robust earnings and gave Getty a vote of no confidence.

There also was speculation from financial analysts that Getty's competitors, such as Corbis and Jupiter Media, are becoming more formidable in garnering shares of the marketplace. The day after Getty's report was released, its stock dipped 10.4 percent on the New York Stock Exchange. Although the company's stock traded for more than $90 in the last two months of 2005, its value had slipped to $63.24 by the second week in May 2006.

For the second quarter of 2006, Getty expects revenue in the range of $205 million to $210 million.