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Untangled Web: Film tax credits passed in Missouri legislature

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The stock price of Springfield-based O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (Nasdaq: ORLY) is once again turning heads.

After crossing the $900 threshold for the first time on April 17, the price rose as high as $964.58 per share on May 12. As of press time, the stock dipped to around $930 per share as of the afternoon of May 24.

The rise to $1,000 per share seems all but certain, given the stock’s trajectory in recent years.

After crossing $700 in December 2021, the stock was near that mark for nearly a year before it hit $800 per share in October 2022. The increase to $900 came even faster, buoyed by higher net income and revenue in the first quarter of this year.

That $1,000 mark may be here soon, and we’ll be here to report the news.

A listing by investment website Wallet Investor shows more than 70 companies with stock prices above $1,000. Of interest, one of them is O’Reilly Automotive competitor AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO), with a stock price exceeding $2,400 per share.

It’s important to note that a high stock price does not necessarily point to high market value. According to Investopedia.com, market value, commonly used to refer to the market capitalization of a publicly traded company, is calculated by multiplying outstanding shares by the current stock price. For O’Reilly Automotive, that’s currently around $56 billion.

Film tax credits passed in Missouri legislature

The Bar, which is featured in the film "Gone Girl," is a popular tourist spot in Cape Girardeau. | SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle

A tax credit initiative I’ve long been in favor of – and advocated for in Springfield Business Journal opinion pieces – may be finally coming to fruition.

The Missouri General Assembly this session passed legislation that would provide tax credits to film and media production companies filming in Missouri.

Called the Show MO Act, the legislation would reinstate tax credits for media productions made in the state. Previous credits expired in 2013, according to the bill summary at Senate.mo.gov.

Since those tax credits lapsed, productions such as the Netflix show “Ozark” have been shot largely out of state despite the name itself being a direct tie to Missouri. The movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is another example.

With those tax credits, our state could be better represented in TV and film. There are tourism benefits there. I’ll give you two personal examples.

One film that has a lot of footage shot in Missouri is “Gone Girl,” a thriller/mystery, starring Ben Affleck, that was released in 2014.

Being big fans of the movie, my wife and I centered a trip around Cape Girardeau, where scenes from the film were shot. Connecting the scenes shown in the movie to real-life places was extremely interesting. Similarly, on a trip outside of Missouri, my wife and I visited Albuquerque, New Mexico, en route to Arizona. We were sure to check out all the locations where scenes were shot for the TV show “Breaking Bad.” It added some depth to one of my favorite TV shows of all time, and we might not have even stopped in Albuquerque had it not been for the show.

It stands to reason that similar vacations will be planned to visit the locations of future movies and TV shows shot in Missouri.

As of press time, the bill is waiting on Gov. Mike Parson’s desk. I join organizations such as the Missouri Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus in hoping he signs it.

How ‘free’ is a free TV?

The Telly TV comes with a second screen that shows ads and other information. | Graphic provided by Telly

Speaking of television and film, have you heard of a technology startup called Telly?

If not, let’s engage in a brief thought experiment. Would you accept and use a free television on the condition that it constantly delivers you advertisements?

That’s exactly the agreement you’re asked to consider with Telly, which recently made the news with its promise of free TVs. The primary catch is there’s a second screen that serves up ads along with information like stock market quotes, weather forecasts and sports scores.

In exchange, you’ll reportedly receive a 55-inch, 4K, HDR TV free of charge. There’s also a built-in camera and microphone for video calling and other services, though that does raise certain privacy concerns. The TV collects certain data, but that’s not necessarily new to the industry, even for TVs that cost money upfront.

Telly Chief Strategy Officer Dallas Lawrence told TV news website Fierce Video that the company would collect the same type of anonymized data as competing hardware makers. The difference is the viewer is compensated through the free TV. Otherwise, you’re paying hundreds or thousands of dollars – going by Amazon prices – for similar televisions that also collect data about you.

“The thing about Telly is, we’re not really a hardware company,” Lawrence said in the article. “We’re a software and advertising company. That’s a completely different mindset than every other TV manufacturer today.”

The Telly concept begs users to consider the old adage that if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. It’s not really a “free” TV if you’re being served advertisements. 

Whether the trade-off is worth it is for you to decide. It will be interesting to see if Telly’s gamble pays off.

What would happen, for example, if the user covers up the second television screen? Did you just get a free TV with no downside?

Telly has a goal of shipping 500,000 free TVs this year, so it’ll be worth watching to see how it pans out, especially if you’re hesitant about the idea.

Perhaps this is a concept that has legs.

Contact Geoff Pickle
Phone: 417-616-5856
Email: gpickle@sbj.net
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