In a statement so cryptic that it appeared to have been plucked out of an online translation site, Blockbuster Chairman/CEO Jim Keyes on Wednesday discussed the future prospects of the video rental company. "The next 12 to 18 months will remain challenging as we balance the secular decline of a single channel with the ascension of emerging channels; such as vending and digital," he said. What that apparently meant was that Blockbuster is trying to determine how to make itself over from a chain of brick-and-mortar rental locations in order to compete effectively with companies renting movies online and on kiosks. Keyes made his comment as Blockbuster reported a fourth-quarter loss of $434.9 million on revenue of $1.08 billion, an 18-percent decline from a year ago. The company also said that is closing at least 500 additional stores. However, Keyes noted that things could be looking up for Blockbuster if all studios can make deals with NetFlix and Redbox that will force them to wait a month before offering movie rentals to their customers. That will give Blockbuster a one-month advantage. He emphasized that point with another cryptic comment "We remain cautiously optimistic -- with the tailwinds becoming clear."
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