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VIVENDI, SEAGRAM, CANAL PLUS STOCKS BOUNCE BACK

After Investor Jitters, The Numbers Are Improving
Yesterday, investors were as jittery as Jerry Lewis on Viagra about the Vivendi, Canal Plus and Seagram hook-up, with stock prices down across the board. Vivendi shares were down 8.35 euros to 88.10 while Seagram was down 6 to $58.125.

Apparently they were in agreement with the reasoning behind Vivendi's boosting its entertainment presence, but seemed skeptical about Vivendi Universal's ability to turn a profit in the near-future.

Today was another story. Seagram shares were up 1 1/2 to close at 60 1/4, while Vivendi rebounded to 89.75 euros, up 1.65, for a modest 1.87% gain. Canal Plus, a characteristically volatile stock, was up .5% at 179.5 euros, having gone as low as 171 and as high as 182.3.

Analysts have expressed concern over Canal's future in the new group, which will pool its filmmaking arm with Seagram's Universal Studios, but will have to spin off its French TV channel to stay within French regulations on ownership of broadcasters.

Some analysts remained unconvinced. "This may have more to do with bargain-hunting than optimism over the deal. A lot of people are still unsure about it. I think it's premature to say Vivendi stock can only go up from here. Hey, anyone wanna buy a used waste management company?"

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