Harry Potter And The Tower Of Profits

The hoopla has British publishers jealous--and alarmed

The index for London's big stock exchange is down 8% for the year. All those new dot-coms that gave British investors such a thrill in January--well, they turned into near-worthless paper come June. But stock-pickers in the City have a new darling--that bespectacled kid wizard Harry Potter, fourth-form student at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Shares in Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, publisher of the bestselling Harry Potter series, have managed an act of levitation worthy of Potter himself: At nearly $14, they're now three times what they were a year ago--and an otherworldly 60 times earnings.

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